The Real Angelina Effect

What really caused Brad & Angelina's breakup

Some things are hard to talk about, hard to say. And sometimes they are the most obvious things. Often they’re what you know in your heart, to be true. These things are hard to talk about because they are painful. The words aren’t painful. Actually they can be soothing, once the silence is broken. But the words touch a memory of something so painful, it’s hard to talk about, hard to look at. And so you turn your head away. Change the subject. Have a drink. Stay busy. 

Why? Because it’s about pain that’s already happened. An event that can’t be changed. Something irrevocable and so, irrevocably sad. In this way, it’s too late. And that’s why it’s hard to talk about. Because it’s too late. Because it can’t be changed. And because it changed everything, creating a time before it happened that we can’t go back to anymore. A time when something was lost forever. A time after which, no matter how much you whisper in the dark or call it darling, it won’t come back to you.

This is why it’s hard to say the most obvious thing about Brad and Angelina’s breakup. Yet talking about this painful thing, looking at it, is the only way to heal it. 

Why pretend the couple didn’t lose something precious and irreplaceable after Angelina’s elective double mastectomy and ovarian hysterectomy, which put her in early menopause? Why pretend it didn’t change her in very dramatic ways, and change their dynamic as a couple? Was it because the two were given a script, and being talented actors, played their roles so well that we all believed the fantasy, the illusion, that one could undergo such invasive surgeries without changing that person forever. For all time. Not just the physical self, but the emotional self, and the mental self. The whole Self. Because they’re all connected.

So for the sake of healing, let’s say it once and for all. Let’s all own it. Let’s look it in the face. Angelina Jolie is one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She had it all, didn’t she?  Amazingly good looks, sex appeal, money, fame, Brad, family, children. Everything. Until the last role she accepted leading up to her divorce.

That role, which would change everything, was tagged The Angelina Effect by TIME Magazine. In this highly mediated, produced and polished role, Jolie played herself being the first cover girl for promoting invasive surgery as an acceptable prevention strategy for a genetic susceptibility to cancer. Through her courageous and stellar performance, American women were sold the message that surgically cutting out breasts and ovaries is a viable approach to cancer prevention. This message was broadcast, with Jolie’s help, to hundreds of millions of Americans smack in the middle of an out-of-control cancer epidemic.

Those in the alternative health community know there are many natural approaches to preventing cancer that are minimally invasive and safe that Angeline Jolie could have tried, had someone informed her of the real choices we have today. Surgeries like hers before a cancer diagnosis seem notably out of touch with how the bodymind heals genetic damage, and how epigenetic factors play key roles in gene expression. 

What Jolie wasn’t offered as a first response was organic real food as medicine, nutrient and antioxidant supplementation, juicing, oxygen therapies, natural immune therapies to bolster GcMAF production, endocrine balancing with bioidentical compounded hormones, and detox to optimize immune function in the liver, gut and kidneys. Maybe she wasn’t offered that because it’s not the standard protocol in America as it is in Germany and other countries. But why not?

Instead, surgeons cut away at Angelina’s genetic susceptibility by cutting off body parts that are the very source of her sexuality, her womanhood and her motherhood—her embodied Self. The Angelina Effect was a life science marketing wet dream for the high tech, highly invasive and highly expensive medical industry. But in reality, life science marketing is based on a fantasy of genes that mutate without environmental triggers and quick fixes that don’t really exist. 

With a cancer rate of nearly 1 in 2, is The Angelina Effect what 50% of us have to look forward to? After all, we can’t expect the cancer rate to go down with organophosphate pesticides and herbicides sprayed all over farm food, and DDT still around because it has a half-life in aquatic environments of 150 years. What about plastic wrapped around everything from fast food to water to birds’ insides, not to mention dirty coal, oil and gas, and a triple nuclear reactor meltdown in its 5th year off the coast of Japan. 

Seriously, is the best response to this crisis to cut out body parts that have a genetic susceptibility? Doesn’t that sound like a horror story? It certainly doesn’t sound like a romantic love story. 

At the end of the day, Jolie’s story ended up being science fiction, no matter how polished by publicity photos, and we can draw from it a straight lineage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—a narrative written by a woman and meant to warn medical doctors of the dangers of their masculine hubris. In Shelley’s time, surgeons had just emerged as a profession, and their leaders made a deal with the Church to access cadavers for the study of surgical anatomy. The Church caved in under pressure to this unsavory request, and the age of modern allopathic medicine was born. I imagine many people at the time were aghast. Something wasn’t right about this arrangement, something was lost—a spiritual respect for Nature.

In fact, more loss was on the way, as the male medical profession proceeded to push midwives out of childbirth in order to create a new market for their services. Sadly, touching birth with the bacteria cultured in the dissecting labs of the dead, these first medical surgeons unknowingly launched an epidemic of post-partum deaths among mothers and infants that lasted until after Lister’s death when his germ theory was finally accepted.

Fast forward. I’ll be frank. I’ve seen breast cancers, ovarian tumors, and cervical cancers in my community too. Who hasn’t? It’s an epidemic! And I’ve also seen marriages fall apart after a woman undergoes conventional treatment for cancer.

The partner thinks he or she is doing the best thing by going along with whatever the doctors say, maybe even getting the best surgeon money can buy, acting quickly, being stoic, being strong. Being unwavering. Getting through it. And then, after it’s over, after it’s too late, suddenly the partner realizes that the person they loved isn’t there any more. She’s different. Her smell is different. Her hormones are different. And because her hormones are different her sexuality is different. Her intuition is different. Her thoughts are different. Her emotions are different. 

I suggest we call this the Angelina Effect.

Include all of it in that tagline—the massive amounts of intravenous antibiotics required to even do surgery that damage your microbiome, your gutbrain, your judgment, your thoughts—as well as your ability to absorb nutrients. Include hormonal imbalance after ovarian hysterectomy so that the woman can no longer make her own estrogen. That affects sexuality, immunity and healthy cell metabolism. Even the ability to bond. Add some painkillers prescribed after surgery to make surgery tolerable (it’s a fantasy that these surgeries don’t hurt, they hurt like bloody hell and are experienced by the body as a trauma). Mix those painkillers with some alcohol and sleeping pills occasionally, and voila—a downward spiral.

Remember too the toxic anesthesia, without which no surgery could be performed, poisoning the liver, colon and kidneys. Recall what the decline of these organs of detoxification and elimination can do to a person’s state of mind and mood. Can you imagine a person might be angry and depressed? Did you know both of those are signs of liver toxicity?

So what really happened to cause Brad and Angelina’s marriage to fail? 

Maybe Brad didn’t know what to do. Maybe he faked that it was okay with him. Maybe he let her down in how they made that decision—the most critical decision of their marriage. Maybe they rushed. Maybe he stepped away just in her moment of greatest need. Maybe in wanting to respect her decision, he didn’t know how to ask hard questions, do research, weigh in. Maybe he didn’t ask her to reconsider. Maybe he didn’t search out the minimally-invasive alternative approaches that could have been tried first. Maybe he could have paid more attention. Been more present. Been more curious. Been more protective.

Maybe under stress they both went back to what they knew—acting. Just when they needed more than ever before in their marriage to show up in real time, refusing to be characters in anybody’s story but their own. And now, it’s too late. To go back is to open the door to regret and resentment. To horrible pain. To grief and loss. And a floating sense of betrayal, betrayal by medical doctors who didn’t offer non-invasive, natural alternative approaches first.

Medical doctors who had their own unconscious agenda and their own hubris. Suppressed emotions that could easily be projected onto a spouse coping with the stress of traumatic loss.

Maybe they were caught off guard, and in the moment when their marriage needed two bold co-directors, they simply weren’t ready to let go of acting in someone else’s script. And now, now it’s too late. She seems to be struggling—paranoid, untrusting and unloving where she used to be confident, trusting and loving. Her breasts don’t feel the same, or look the same. Her skin doesn’t smell the same. Because she’s not the same

And maybe no one prepared them for this. And now, it’s the most obvious factor leading up to their wildly publicized divorce.

If a woman’s microbiome is not the same, then her gutbrain is not the same. If she has no ovaries, her endocrine system is not the same. If she’s toxed out on prescription painkillers and anesthesia, and throw some alcohol in there, then her liver, colon, kidneys and bladder won’t be the same. Nor the emotions of anger, control, fear and irritability those organs regulate. And because mind and body cannot be separated, her psychology is not the same either. How sad that every one is busy pretending that those elective surgeries didn’t change her, and as a consequence, change her marriage. And that, my friends, is the real Angelina Effect