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Bizarre cult that 'never ate food' lost followers when leader tasted a McDonald's

2022-04-11 Source:www.dailystar.co.uk Author:Michael Moran

Batman star Michelle Pfeiffer was just one person taken in by cult leader Wiley Brooks – she later described her run-in with the Breatharian movement as 'financially draining'

A cult leader who preached to his followers - including Hollywood star Michelle Pfeiffer - that they should not eat was rumbled when he admitted he could not resist fast food.

Wiley Brooks, founder of the Breatharian Institute of America, claimed he hadn’t eaten for over 18 years, insisting that everything the human body needs to survive can be taken in just by breathing - only to later claim McDonald's was ok too.

Through the early 1980s, Brooks was a regular on US talk shows, maintaining that easting was simply an “addiction” and that meditation and special breathing techniques could enable his followers to “kick the habit”.

Most shockingly, Brooks said that hunger strikers, such as the Irish Republicans who died in prison for their beliefs, only died because they wanted to.

Brooks successfully charged would-be Breatharians substantial sums of money to visit a retreat in southern Utah where they would be trained in his special techniques.

Audra Bear claimed she could last for three months on air alone

An advertisement published in 2020 said the total cost of the workshop would be $100,000 (about £ 75,000) with a 10% deposit. The Breatharian marketing materials stressed that the prices were not misprints. No refunds were offered for unsuccessful trainees.

The workshop did include a visit to “Earth Prime in the 5th Dimension,” though, with the promise that successful applicants would be offered an opportunity to retire there.

“Earth Prime,” the Breatharian website explained, “is the original planet Earth on its original growth path”. The comparatively small population of this “ideal” Earth had joined a confederation of planets occupied by extraterrestrials and welcomed new visitors.

Wiley Brooks collected various Indian mystical beliefs and repackaged them as Inedia or breatharianism

Three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer was involved in the Breatharian movement for a time, later wryly remarking “It was financially very draining."

But Brooks’s Breatharian movement came in for some mockery in 1983 when he was rumbled buying a chicken pie and some biscuits from his local 7-11.

Shortly afterwards Lavelle Lefler, co-founder of the Breatharian Institute, told reporters that the would-be guru was a fraud: “The truth is he sneaks into 7-Elevens and fast food places and eats just like the rest of us — except worse because he has to rely on places that are open late into the night."

Michelle Pfeiffer had a brush with the cult when she first arrived in Hollywood

Lefler later told told the San Bernardino County Sun that “the man loves Colonel Sanders” — and would sometimes eat a dozen donuts in a single sitting.

In 2003 Brooks explained that he sometimes ate a cheeseburger and a Coke, because when he's surrounded by junk culture and junk food, eating junk food “adds balance”.

He later expanded on his theory, claiming that that Diet Coke and McDonald's cheeseburgers have special "5D" properties. He encouraged his followers to eat nothing but special “5D foods,” such as cheeseburgers and cola, and published a list of magical “5D words” for his followers to study.

Many people have made themselves very ill, and even died, as a result of getting involved in Breatharianism

The magic words, Jotniranjan, Omkar, Rarankar, Sohang and Satnam, were supposed to be chanted for two hours a day.

“It is better to have some Diet Coke in your bloodstream before starting the meditation exercise,” Brooks noted, adding that “double-quarter-pounder/with cheese meal at McDonald's is the other part of this diet."

He stressed: “Do not drink water of any kind or from any source and most importantly so not eat any fruits or vegetables [while] doing this régime”

Brooks himself died in 2016, at the ripe old age of 80, but Breatharianism lived on after him.

Husband and wife Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello claimed they had barely eaten in nine years

Australian Ellen Greve, for example, claimed to have survived for most of the 1990s on air and the occasional cup of tea. She agreed to spend seven days in a sealed room with no food or water under struct supervision for Aussie news programme 60 Minutes.

After the fourth day, on medial advice, the stunt was cancelled when Greve became dangerously weak.

She claimed that the experiment had failed because there wasn’t enough fresh air in the room. Challenged by an interviewer to admit that her philosophy was a sham she said "no, that's not true, because I've done it for a long period, and 6,000 people around the world have done this without any problem."

Original Website:https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/bizarre-cult-never-ate-food-26548993