Coley Ellison lives in Invercargill, NZ, and promotes himself as a 'Natural Alternative Healing Practitioner' (and other similar titles).
He claims to be able to diagnose and cure numerous diseases, especially cancer, using such therapies as psychic, colour, magnetic and crystal healing. The 'patient' doesn't even have to be present for the diagnosis or cure, he can telepathically link to anywhere on the planet.
Has Coley Ellison got some special link with the paranormal? Does he know something that doctors and scientists don't? More importantly, can he really cure you?
No. It's all a scam.
UPDATE: Corey Ellison advised us in 2012 that all the material contained on his website — www.ihealyou.com — (some of which we quote in this article) has been removed. However, although it is blank at present, he apparently still owns the website name and his email address is still connected to it. Does he have plans to resurrect it? We are evidently expected to infer that because the website is inactive, Ellison has ceased promoting himself as a 'Natural Alternative Healing Practitioner'. We hope this is the case. So while people — hopefully — can no longer consult Ellison on health matters, we will leave this article online as an historical example of how alternative healers in general seek to mislead the public.
Coley Ellison was brought to my attention by ads and articles he placed in a magazine that was distributed free to Invercargill households in late 2005 (Invercargill This Week). This essay is based on a complaint I sent to that magazine.
Each issue had a section entitled "Health & Beauty" in which Ellison's bogus articles and ads featured. It is misleading, inappropriate, dangerous, and possibly even actionable, for a mainstream magazine to express the flakey opinions of alternative therapists as medical and/or scientific fact.
To their credit a reply from its editor included the statement: "We as a publication do not want to be promoting quackery, it does not matter how much advertising revenue is generated". For whatever reason, recent issues have not featured articles or advertisements from Coley Ellison and one can only hope that this situation continues. Perhaps this exposť played some part in that outcome.
Every issue of the magazine that I had read all contained articles by Coley Ellison (even though many didn't actually acknowledge him as author). Ellison claims to be, among other things:
A Specialist Natural Alternative Healing PractitionerWhile there had been occasional articles on those pages that had discussed mainstream opinion on health topics such as Vaccination, Breast Screening and the Cancer society, those pieces were outnumbered by Coley Ellison's. The sole purpose of his articles seemed to be to promote his business, as little real health information was provided. If anything, his articles promoted health scares and encouraged gullible people to seek his services. Other alternative therapists have also featured, such as The Mind, Body & Spirit Clinic promoting the bogus treatment of EFT. I accept that some other magazines are also printing columns from alternative therapists, but they are usually careful to separate them from mainstream medical advice columns and highlight that they are natural, alternative and/or complimentary therapists.
With the "Health & Beauty" pages of this magazine there was no separation between fringe and mainstream articles and no easy way of knowing what is accepted fact, what is merely opinion and what is utterly false.
Coley Ellison claims to specialise in psychic, telepathic and other energy healing, such as colour healing, magnetic therapy and crystal healing.
These are all bogus therapies. There is no good evidence that these therapies work, while there is plenty of good evidence that psychic, telepathic and human energy fields don't even exist. Claiming to specialise in these things is no different than claiming to specialise in the healing powers of leprechauns or the ancient knowledge of Atlantis. While people are welcome to hold these eccentric views, their opinions should not be given equal status to that of conventional, and proven, medicine and science.
On his website (www.ihealyou.com) Ellison goes on to claim to have "a degree in Public Health" (he doesn't elaborate as to what that means), yet he lists no recognised degrees, and those qualifications he does list are worthless. Accredited universities do not issue qualifications in 'Colour, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Herbs or Energy treatments'. The therapies these people offer are called alternative, complementary and/or natural simply because mainstream institutions refuse to teach them or endorse them. The following list of 'qualifications' is from his website:
Coley Ellison, Specialist Natural Alternative Healing Practitioner. M.R.S.H. (London)B.S.Y.A.(Colour) B.S.Y.A.(Adv. Col.) A&C(Aust) H.H.Dip. (Herbs. Aust.) Registered & Chartered Natural Therapies Practitioner. I then began progressive studies with Australian English and New Zealand Bodies for knowledge and advanced qualifications; Colour Aromatherapy Reiki Herbs and several energy treatments.He is not a doctor and he has no recognised medical qualifications.
Furthermore, claims he makes on his website are not only unethical and demonstrably false, they are also dangerous.
This claim alone should make anyone very wary of his claims. The following quotes that are indented and/or in violet text are from Coley Ellison's website. I have highlighted the pertinent parts of his quotes in bold text:
CANCER TREATMENT SUCCESS has been up to 90%;Ellison claims "up to 90%" success, yet this makes no sense. It's either 90% or maybe something approaching 90%, but not "up to 90%". For example, if the first patient you treat is cured then you have a 100% success rate. If the second you treat is also cured you still have 100% success. However if the next eight people you treat all die, your success rate is now 20% and you can't still claim to have had "up to 100%" success based on your first two patients.
He also quotes the following, now claiming "up to 95%" success:
Infections cancer etc... Our objective is to help everybody recover their health and have outstanding success (up to 95%)But then Ellison makes the following two claims which equate to 100% success. Which is it? 90%, 95% or 100%? Like science, maths is obviously not one of his strong points:
CANCEROUS TUMOURS .. Elimination of tumours has returned an incredible success rate. ...After eight years there has not been one patient whose cancer has returned following our procedure.Following this theme, he also makes the statement:
CANCER TREATMENT - is it effective? The results speak for themselves. The number of people successfully treated over many years is proof in itself. Four to eight people have been continuously treated over time.How can the "number of people successfully treated" be taken as proof when he fails to tell us how many people that actually is? And what does "Four to eight people have been continuously treated over time" mean? He's not sure whether he treated four, or five, or six, or maybe even eight people over time? How could he have arrived at a success percentage if he's not even sure of the numbers? And if he can cure cancer, why would they need to be "continuously treated", since he also claims that "there has not been one patient whose cancer has returned".
To make these outlandish claims regarding his ability to cure cancer is utterly irresponsible. Others have been taken to court for making claims that promised far less. Remember the green-lipped mussels case?
Then he goes on to make the following claim:
CANCER susceptibility: healthy people who have a susceptibility to cancer are frequently found to have a gene imbalance. We have the ability to check this and then offer a supplement that either aids recovery or offers a reasonable certain protection against the onset of cancer long term.Why don't oncologists know about this "gene imbalance", and what the hell is a "gene imbalance" anyway? This is a perfect example of a phrase that sounds scientific, but isn't. In an article in the magazine (20th Oct 2005) he stated: "I understand there are a number of different cancers", yet in the above statement he suggests that there is only one type of cancer and your susceptibility to it is caused by this bogus "gene imbalance". He then goes on to claim that he has the ability to test for this "gene imbalance". How does he do this? Genetic testing is often an expensive, lengthy process carried out in specialist laboratories by scientists with specialist equipment. Look how long and how much money it cost to sequence the human genome. Since he doesn't claim to have discovered this revolutionary, life saving test, and since it can be simply carried out by non-professionals, why hasn't everybody in the country, and even the world, been tested for their susceptibility for cancer? The answer is simple. His claim is bogus.
In another of Coley Ellison's adverts (Southland Express, 2002) he made this extremely irresponsible and dangerous claim:
ARE: Antibiotics, pending operation's, .... of concern.In this he states that if you are worried about taking antibiotics or having operations he can cure you and you can forget about the antibiotics and operations recommended by your doctor. A statement on his website confirms that this is exactly what his advert implies:
Following my treatment... operations and medicationís have been cancelled.This is very dangerous, convincing people to forgo possibly life-saving operations and to throw away their medication without consulting the doctors who prescribed them.
At no stage on his website does he make any mention that people should also consult conventional doctors or mention referring people to conventional specialists. He does state the following:
Coley regularly works alongside Medical Practitioners and has no problems with this.However this is misleading. The real question is how Medical Practitioners feel about Coley and his methods???
The following advice by Ellison could prove fatal to his clients:
Frequently a change in discomfort around the health problem area is felt during treatment, however this is simply reception of a different energy and start of rejection of complaint organism and/or healing.This is doublespeak for "You may feel ill or even get worse while taking my treatment, but this simply means it's working". By the time they realise it's not working and finally seek conventional diagnosis and treatment, it could be too late to effect any cure. You're dead.
When anyone tries to convince you not to look at their claims in a sceptical or critical manner, then alarm bells should ring loudly. Only those that have something to hide ever suggest this. Sound arguments have nothing to fear from critical examination. Thus Ellison signals a scam with his section entitled:
"SCEPTICAL!!!!! at your peril"He begins with a statement that we have every right to be sceptical of:
Complimentary/alternative treatments are gaining in acceptance due to the results that really cannot be refuted.Of course they can be refuted. And they regularly are, that's why they're still called 'natural/complimentary/alternative treatments' and not simply 'medicine'. If some treatment works and you can show that it works, it's simply called medicine. If their treatments could be shown to work, they wouldn't still have the natural, complimentary or alternative tag. To maintain that conventional medicine and science supports alternative treatments demonstrates either ignorance or dishonesty. Neither are attributes your health practitioner should have.
And what about this silly statement:
If you wish I am able to give an indication of expected effectiveness before treatment begins, who else offers this?"If you wish"? Who wouldn't want an indication of the probable outcome, and what medical professional on the planet, from brain surgeon to witch doctor, doesn't give a prognosis of the treatment they offer? Just how stupid are his clients?
But he goes on to state that we're all too stupid to understand conventional medical treatment anyway:
After all, if you received medical treatment you surely would not be able to fully undersrand [sic] the treatment and how it was produced and effects you.Thus we should not try to understand what he does either but merely:
"look at the results they speak for themselves" and this is what you should use to decide upon treatmentHe encourages us to look at his results and to use them to make a decision. Yet at the same time implies that we shouldn't examine these results skeptically, and that we do so at our peril. And just in case we don't realise how much we could be risking by being sceptical, he finishes with:
just remember this may be the only chance of health recovery and/or a longer more comfortable life.But all this is beside the point, since he doesn't provide his results for us to look at anyway, apart from some contradictory "success percentages", some vague statements and worthless and misleading testimonials. He provides no details of what diseases he has cured, or how many. He provides no reliable and independent documentation that his patients had the claimed disease in the first instant or that they were cured of it, and if they were, whether they were also undergoing conventional treatment.
In a Southland Express article on Coley Ellison entitled 'Colour healing' (11 April 2002), the following was revealed about Mr Ellison's diagnosis and treatment method:
Without giving too much away the [colour therapy] process is quite simple to explain. Firstly, Coley uses special equipment to find out, without your help, what your illness or aliment is. "Each colour represents a particular health problem or issue," he said. The colour is then carefully selected and placed into a different piece of equipment and the treatment begins.Without giving too much away?? Note that Mr Ellison isn't prepared to say what this 'special equipment' is or what it does? What's he afraid of? Doctors, scientists, medical technicians etc are quite happy to explain what their equipment does and how it works. They'll tell you exactly why antibiotics, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have an effect on disease or how the X-ray, CAT or MRI scanners work. Mr Ellison won't even give a name to his 'special equipment'. This is typical of scam artists who refuse to let their equipment be examined or tested. Their boxes are usually just that, boxes. Sealed boxes with little inside them. They may have the ubiquitous meter and cables, plus some coloured lights for good measure, but any components inside are there solely to make the meter move and the lights glow. They have as much diagnostic ability as a flashing Xmas tree.
On the 'Cancer / Tumour' page of his website, Mr Ellison does attempt to explain the basic science that makes his healing work:
** TREATMENT and HEALING... is based upon the premise that all matter has energy and by using a contra energy to say cancer... the body may take the contra energy and because it is stronger use it to cast out the cancer.However this is nothing but pseudoscience, using scientific terms to confuse and impress the layperson. He no doubt hopes that the reader will remember that the famous scientist Albert Einstein said something about matter and energy being interconnected and that this somehow has a bearing on disease. This 'premise' about matter, energy, and his stronger 'contra energy' being able to 'cast out the cancer' is nothing but fanciful thinking and scientific ignorance. Even his phrase 'cast out the cancer' is revealing, being reminiscent of religious fundamentalists who 'cast out demons'.
CANCER / HEALTH TEST: The patient is first tested from a saliva, blood or hair sample. This is to ascertain the condition of immune systems and other health problems such as general body and mind condition.Again no mention of how he performs or analyses these tests in his Chelmsford Street home. Also no reason is given as to why he needs to perform these invasive tests since he also claims to be able to diagnose using psychic telepathic means.
This insistence that we avoid all critical or sceptical thought, that we don't attempt to understand his methods and that the "establishment" can not be relied on to recognise new treatments is little different from the tactics used in those Nigerian Bank scams. I'm surprised he doesn't explicitly say 'don't discuss this with your doctor or family members', although the following statement does in effect say this:
If you have a health problem and are influenced by well meaning albeit ill conceived advice and / or scepticism just remember it is YOUR body and you should make decisions concerning treatment.Ellison seems to automatically assume, no doubt through experience, that any advice you receive from doctors, family or friends will be against his bogus treatment. You aren't advised to weigh up this advice against his recommendations but are implored to consider it 'ill conceived'. Not only shouldn't you listen to them, you shouldn't let them push you around either: 'you should make decisions concerning treatment'.
Any attempt to suppress debate is just another red flag screaming SCAM!
In 2002 a complaint was made by D. Ellis to the Advertising Standards Authority (Complaint 02/191) concerning 'Advanced Colour Treatment Remedy' adverts placed by Coley Ellison. Basically the complaint was: 'it is illegal to offer treatments by alternative methods for Cancer, AIDS and Meningitis'.
The ASA board ruled against Mr Ellison and reported that:
The advertiser, Coley Ellison, wrote to the Board extending sincere apologies for inadvertently contravening the advertising codes and also advising that he had contacted the publishers requesting them to assist him amend the advertisement to comply with the rules.His recent magazine adverts certainly don't claim that he can cure or treat Cancer, AIDS, Meningitis etc, instead they merely talk about 'how you may be helped, guidance, assistance and advice with' Cancer, Meningitis etc. However his adverts are just that - advertising his existence. For more information they refer you to his website where all the bogus and contentious 'I heal you' claims are most definitely still made. In the past the Advertising Standards Authority only had to deal with advertising on radio, TV and in the print media, not the Internet.
At present I'm looking at what avenues I can pursue to have his claims examined by the authorities. At the very least he appears to make several that infringe the 'Fair Trading Act' and the 'Dietary Supplements Regulations'.
According to the 'NZ Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Health' (MACCAH):
Currently, there is no specific legislation to regulate CAM practitioners. However the following regulatory provisions all have an impact on CAM practitioners:MACCAH states that in line with the NZ Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985, "most CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) products are currently marketed as dietary supplements. Since dietary supplements are 'foods', it is illegal for them to be marketed with any therapeutic claims. In order to be permitted to make therapeutic claims, products are required to go through the medicines assessment and approval process. It is unlikely that most CAM products would succeed in this process due to the stringent levels of evidence required."
Yet Ellison does indeed make therapeutic claims on the following products he offers:
We... offer a supplement that either aids recovery or offers a reasonable certain protection against the onset of cancer long term.Have they gone through the 'medicines assessment and approval process'?
It would also seem that the Ellison's claims suffer badly under the 'Fair Trading Act 1986'. This Act prohibits false or misleading information about a product or service, and the following sections are relevant:
Section 9: misleading and deceptive conduct generallyAs examples, all of the following statements can be shown to be misleading, deceptive and/or false:
Complimentary/alternative treatments are gaining in acceptance due to the results that really cannot be refuted.Think about what a stupid statement that last example is: "CANCER HEALING needs a healthy balanced body".
If you have a healthy balanced body then you don't have cancer, thus no treatment is required. Ellison doesn't seem to understand the concept of a healthy balanced body. This is the last person I would what treating me.
Ellison's claims differ immensely from that of your normal medical practitioner. One list on his website entitled "Do you need treatment &/or help with" lists 68 afflictions that he can treat you for. Of course the list can be expanded greatly when the different cancers, bacteria, viruses, female problems etc are added, and then you have the many things mentioned elsewhere on his site, like ghosts and bad energy. Some of the most serious and life threatening illnesses that he claims to cure are:
Alzheimerís, Arthritis, Asthma, Bacterial infections,Since AIDS is an "Immune dysfunction" caused by a "virus" (HIV), he is also claiming he can cure AIDS as well.
While conventional medicine also attempts to treat all these afflictions, the crucial difference is that Ellison claims to cure them. Not just treat them, but cure them. Conventional medicine makes no such claim to be able cure all cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's, motor neuron disease etc.
These are some of his claims that suggest "I don't just treat, I cure":
CANCER TREATMENT SUCCESS has been up to 90%Even Ellison's personalised number plate - I HEAL U - and his website address speak of his power to cure: www.ihealyou.com
If Ellison is unable to attribute a recognised illness to someone's lack of wellbeing, he widens his diagnostic abilities with the inclusion of "things that go bump in the night":
Bad Energy - Spiritual IntrusionI guess the "HOME AND PERSONAL INVASION BY AN INTRUSION" item covers the modern alien abduction phenomena and its associated anal probes.
Ellison tells us that his "treatments are gaining in acceptance due to the results that really cannot be refuted."
What utter rubbish! Show me the reputable scientific studies that accepts any of these silly things. It's a further example that those that seek Ellison's services are the most gullible that society has to offer.
The sole use of testimonials to support claims involving science or medicine is always suspicious. It is what people fall back on when they can produce no real evidence to back their claims. No mention of scientific studies, scientific or medical reports, articles in scientific or medical journals etc. Testimonials are appropriate for certain things, like deciding whether to try a certain restaurant, choosing a book or movie or selecting a certain business that offers the most helpful staff. But they are not appropriate in the promotion of science or medicine and their appearance signals desperation.
Only an idiot would refuse to acknowledge medical and scientific research that supported his business. Thus Ellison's refusal to mention any such evidence implies no such evidence exists. And it doesn't.
As to the testimonials Ellison provides, one recounts only second-hand knowledge of his work, ie. hearsay and rumour:
I know of a number of people who... received help from ColeyThis testimonial even elaborates on "an elderly lady's story I read in a magazine about Coley...":
This lady became very deaf... and... finally ended up in a wheel chairYet Ellison also provides the actual testimonial from this elderly lady which told a slightly different story:
[I] lost my [sense of] taste [and] smell... and spent most of my time in a wheelchair.Likewise her personal statement of:
Following treatment my stiffness disappeared [and I] can most of the time walk without walking sticks and have not used my wheel chair for over a year.This was changed in the second testimonial to:
As a result of Coleys help there was no more stiffness [and] she was able to regularly walk several blocks and had not used the wheel chair for over a year.This demonstrates perfectly why testimonials can not be relied on, as they usually express what people 'think' happened, rather than what actually happened. It is rather surprising that Ellison places them next to each other. No doubt he didn't notice the inconsistencies and I suspect one or the other will suddenly disappear from his website when he reads this.
No matter what belief you name, from psychics and witch doctors to feng shui and drinking your own urine, you will find people that recommend them. Thus recommendations alone can not vouch for the veracity of any belief.
When anyone offers testimonials you should say: "Forget the testimonials. Just show me the evidence".
I suggest that not only are claims 2 & 3 false, even the first claim is false. Those with a genuine desire to help volunteer their time and freely donate their discoveries for the good of humanity. Ellison does neither, happily waiting for the desperate and gullible to contact him with their credit card details. Yet by his own admission he could already have sensed their illness and could have cured them from a distance, but he chooses to wait for their call instead. And if they don't call, he lets them suffer.
Is this the sign of a real humanitarian or a greedy, opportunistic con man?
Coley Ellison is a fraud and what he does is a scam. I have shown that he can not cure disease and his claims of success are false. His claimed diagnostic ability is imaginary and many of the things he claims to have power over, such as telepathy and ghosts, don't even exist. His grasp of science, medicine and statistics is rudimentary and often wrong.
He preys on the gullible and the desperate. If he is utterly convinced of his healing powers then he is delusional. If he is not utterly convinced of his healing powers then he is unlikely to admit this to his clients. Either way they are being scammed and at the very least will be financially poorer for the experience. At worst they will be dead due to lack of real medical attention.
As regards the magazine publication, I believe that articles provided by Ellison, and any other alternative therapist, need to be presented in such a way that it is obvious that they are an advertisement, written to promote a certain business. In the magazine they were printed in the same format as pieces by their feature writers and reporters. I'm all for freedom of speech and don't suggest that these views be censored, but they must be presented in a balanced manner. I also recognise that it must be difficult for publishers to print views that they possibly disagree with, especially since advertising is revenue, but this can be balanced by not giving contentious articles undue weight, and by printing contrary views. Different topics carry different weight. Opinions on health are not the same as opinions on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie. Bogus health treatments can bankrupt you, and at worst, kill you. The worst thing you can suffer from Jackson's movies is boredom.
Unfortunately esoteric pieces on alternative therapies, horoscopes, alien abduction and quotes from the Bible are common place in our newspapers and magazines, whereas articles that are sceptical of astrology, ufology, miracles, psychics and human energy fields are almost non-existent. It's no wonder that many people accept that there could be something to all this weird stuff, because it's all they're exposed to. I'm continually amazed at people who express a strong belief in something, but when pressured, admit that they know little about it. That doesn't seem to stop them debating it though. For many ignorance is no barrier to maintaining a belief.
Like Ellison who claims a desire to heal but who appears to have been seduced by the need to make money, the media claim a desire to inform, but are often controlled by the whims of their advertisers. They would like to print an exposť of astrology, but that might upset their client who provides the horoscope. What's more important: money or integrity? I believe it's possible to have both.
Author: John L. Ateo
Last Updated Apr 2012