Life’s 4 Living and Barefoot Doctor: inconsistencies in their account of events

Answering – or trying to answer – some of our criticisms of Life’s 4 Living, Lynton Guest gave what might seem like a clear explanation of Stephen Russell‘s role in the charity:

The Barefoot Doctor [Stephen Russell] helped with fundraising events. He has now resigned. He did not work with clients.

Explaining why there was a PDF on Life’s 4 Living’s website implying that Russell did work with clients, Lynton stated that

Over many months discussions took place and documents were worked up and updated until by December 2007 the final version was ready to post on the website. Unfortunately, the wrong document was posted. It was not the final version as approved by the directors and trustees of Life’s 4 Living Trust but a much earlier draft. This early draft was posted in error.

As soon as this mistake was discovered, early in 2008, the posting was removed from the website and replaced by the correct version. However, until the last few days it appears that the old posting was still available, if only on the server.

Of course, we all make mistakes. However, we thought it might be worth checking some of the details around Russell’s role in Life’s 4 Living. Some of what we found raises additional questions:

Creation Film & TV will create a powerful 3 part documentary called Life’s 4 Living. Accompanied by our Patron – Barefoot Doctor (AKA Stephen Russell) the film follows a group of five children (ages 5 – 12 years old) and five young adults (ages 16 – 24 years old) on a journey of healing and discovery – which will take them all the way to China where they will experience the ancient healing arts of World-Leading Masters.

To me, that implies that Russell will be accompanying the children and young people on their journey to China. Of course, Sutton might be mistaken herself – but if the charity’s Director is in the dark about such issues, one wonders how she can fulfil her responsibilities re. child protection.

  • We have a saved copy of the PDF that Life’s 4 Living apparently placed on their website in error. Looking at the file properties shows us that this PDF was created on 7/12/07; the ‘correct’ PDF (that Lynton states was prepared in December) was created on 19/2/08 (both using Adobe InDesign). I am not sure how this squares with Lynton’s claim that this ‘earlier draft’ of the document was “a much earlier draft” than the one they had prepared in December.
  • We have seen a video of a Brighton fundraising event where Russell states that “we will take a child…along with one of their parents to some of the world’s leading holistic experts”. It would be easy to get the sense from this that Russell is working with Life’s 4 Living clients.

Hopefully, Life’s 4 Living will be able to clarify what is going on with this – and post a copy of their policy for the protection of vulnerable clients, so that we can see what protection they offer.



Filed under Life's 4 Living

7 responses to “Life’s 4 Living and Barefoot Doctor: inconsistencies in their account of events

  1. It is very odd behaviour, isn’t it.

  2. Essy

    “We have seen a video of a Brighton fundraising event where Russell states that “we will take a child…along with one of their parents to some of the world’s leading holistic experts”. It would be easy to get the sense from this that Russell is working with Life’s 4 Living clients.”

    Indeed it certainly implies that. BD doesn’t say ”they’. Why they are taken on trips to Croatia etc is a bit mystifying, and certainly legislation would be more difficult to police than it is here, if something went wrong in a treatment. I don’t understand why they don’t pay for these children to have treatment in the UK.

    I also note from the video that they are selling a lot of health products. Something one would expect more from a business, than a charity.

    Finally, why BD is wearing ear muffs round his neck? What does it signify-his healing ability?

  3. OMG!

    I’ve read with great interest all the posts on this website (sometimes I’ve laughed, sometimes I’ve yelled at the screen, and sometimes I just felt sad). I’ve clicked on a lot of the links offered up as supporting evidence. I’ve performed my own independent amateur investigation. And I’ve come to my own conclusion.

    I actually planned a long response to all the inconsistencies, hypocrisies, and witch-trial behavior I’ve seen on this website. Then I realized that the only real approach that would not feed into this frenzy would be to leave it to it’s own merits (or lack of it). I offer up an alternative way to view this site. Move the focus from a charity with seemingly nothing to hide (I’m sure I’ll get a response to that!), and move it to the website authors… oh, wait, we don’t know who they are. They have made it quite clear that they are not willing to subject themselves to the same scrutiny that they dish out.

    In conclusion, my conclusion actually comes in the form of an agreement with Reality Check’s statement, “It is clear that no matter whatever someone like Mr Guest says/ lifes4living and others do, they will always be ‘wrong’ in your eyes,…”

    I can only hope that everybody that happens upon sites like this will be able to see through the veil.

  4. Odd behaviour, healing muffs – well, I’m certainly not in a position to criticise someone else’s fashion sense ;)

    OMG – yes, this is an anonymous blog. You can scrutinise what we say here – or not – as you prefer. We would welcome engagements with our arguments, instead of a string of questions about who we are and complaints that we blog anonymously.

    If we were treating vulnerable patients we would, of course, not do this anonymously and would be subjected to a range of checks. This is a blog, though. There is a long – and perfectly honourable – tradition of people writing anonymously. I am not sure why some seem to find this so objectionable…

  5. embarrased brighton resident

    Just a bit bemused by the text underneath that appalling L4L video. 770,000 children in the UK with a terminal illness. That’s a likely figure.

  6. Hm- the text under the video says that:

    There are approximately 770,000 terminally ill/ disabled children in the UK. That equates to one child in every 20. For many of them, there is little, or no medication available to treat their condition

    I think the real problem here is how crude the description is. For example, one might class dyslexia as a disability (which there’s generally no suitable medication to treat). However, there’s a big difference between, say, dyslexia and Stage 4 cancer…

  7. The stats to 2000 are here. I can’t get the data to fit L4L’s numbers. I’d be interested in hearing from them how they substantiate their figures.

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