Fact Check: Dr. Sebi Book Was NOT Banned In Multiple Countries

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Dr. Sebi Book Was NOT Banned In Multiple Countries Not Blocked

Was Dr. Sebi's book banned in multiple countries? No, that's not true: There are no credible reports that a book about Dr. Sebi's controversial diet has been banned in any country. The book listed in the claim is available on a website that claims it "ships worldwide" and does not mention a ban.

The claim appeared in a post on Instagram on February 15, 2023. It opened:

This Book Was BANNED In 88.5 Countries

Here is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-02-16 at 09.15.16.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Thurs Feb 16:21:56 2023 UTC)

The Instagram account that claimed the book is banned is @doctortruthofficial, and the website listed for the account is doctortruth.shop, where the book is sold. The book, titled, "DOCTORTRUTH DR. SEBI: HEAL ALL DISEASE THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERBAL HEALING, INGREDIENTS, SHOPPING AND MORE!" is sold on the website, which states the e-book "ships worldwide." There is no mention on the website of it being banned.

Posts on this Instagram account claim the book has been banned in both "88.5 countries" and "92 countries." TikTok posts, apparently by others, claim it was banned in both 20 countries and "87.9 countries." There is no explanation offered as to why there are fractions of countries where the book was purportedly banned.

"Dr. Sebi" was not a medical doctor; his real name was Alfredo Darrington Bowman. He died in 2016. He promoted a controversial alkaline diet and sold supplements that claimed to cure all diseases including AIDS/HIV and cancer. There is not a cure for all diseases. He was notoriously linked to Michael Jackson before Jackson's death, treating him with his herbs as the New York Post reported in 2004.

A search of TikTok for Sebi's books yields multiple results.

A Google search of "Dr. Sebi book ban" does not show any reports that the book is banned but shows a link to TikTok accounts that repeated the claim that the book is banned:

Screen Shot 2023-02-16 at 11.51.11 AM.png

(Source: Google screenshot taken on Thurs Feb 19:36:12 2023 UTC)

More Lead Stories fact checks of claims about "Dr. Sebi" can be found here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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