June 17th, 2017


Please explain this NY Post article to me:

A “Breatharian” mom and dad of two have barely eaten for nine years as they live off “the universe’s energy.”

Husband and wife Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello believe that food and water aren’t necessary and humans can be sustained solely by the energy of the universe.

Camila and Akahi — who have a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter together — have survived on little else besides a piece of fruit or vegetable broth just three times per week since 2008.

I read the whole article waiting for the punchline, but there was none. Is every day now April Fools Day at the Post? This goes beyond “fake news” into “news so absurd that no one on earth, not even the people who believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, could believe it.”

Then again, I once met a Breatherian—or someone who professed to be one (he was a friend of someone I was close to). That particular Breatharian was, however, seemingly insane, and I say that not just because of his odd eating habits. He also—after telling us he was a Breatharian who barely needed to eat a thing to stay alive—proceeded to help himself to several of the barbecued ribs that we were eating that evening.

That’s a true story, and it occurred about thirty years ago.

That memory, plus the Post article, prompted me to look up Breatharianism, which apparently is some sort of actual movement originating in India:

According to Ayurveda, sunlight is one of the main sources of prana, and some practitioners believe that it is possible for a person to survive on sunlight alone. The terms breatharianism or inedia may also refer to this philosophy when it is practiced as a lifestyle in place of the usual diet.

Breatharianism is considered a lethal pseudoscience by scientists and medical professionals, and several adherents of these practices have died from starvation and dehydration. Though it is common knowledge that biological entities require sustenance to survive, breatharianism continues.


That Wiki entry I just linked to contains some astounding examples of people who claim to be Breatharians. Here is my personal favorite:

Wiley Brooks is the founder of the Breatharian Institute of America. He was first introduced to the public in 1980 when appearing on the TV show That’s Incredible!…

In 1983 he was reportedly observed leaving a Santa Cruz 7-Eleven with a Slurpee, a hot dog, and Twinkies. He told Colors magazine in 2003 that he periodically breaks his fasting with a cheeseburger and a cola, explaining that when he’s surrounded by junk culture and junk food, consuming them adds balance.

Wiley Brooks later claimed that Diet Coke and McDonald’s cheeseburgers have special “5D” properties. The idea of separate but interconnected 5D and 3D worlds is a major part of Wiley Brooks’ ideology, and Wiley Brooks encourages his followers to only eat these special 5D foods, as well as meditate on a set of magical 5D words…

Brooks’s institute has charged varying fees to prospective clients who wished to learn how to live without food, which have ranged from US$100,000 with an initial deposit of $10,000[40] to one billion dollars, to be paid via bank wire transfer with a preliminary deposit of $100,000, for a session called “Immortality workshop”.

I wonder if Brooks has ever had any takers. Then again, at those prices, he wouldn’t need all that many of them to make a rather nice go of it.

26 Responses to “Breatharians”

  1. groundhog Says:

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  2. Cornflour Says:

    I’m not a Breatharian, but in my retirement, I’ve learned that old people are the most efficient energy converters that the world has ever seen. For every pound of food that I eat, my body makes ten pounds of fat.

    If engineers could figure out how to capture the energy difference between old people’s food consumption and fat production, then everybody would get free heat in the winter and free air conditioning in the summer. As a bonus, I’d lose a few pounds.

    This is a known fact: old people don’t need food. Every once in a while, just park them out in the sun and fresh air, and they’ll be fine. Nursing homes get it. When their relatives visit, the old-timers have regular meals, but it’s just for show. Otherwise, it’s jello morning, noon, and night.

    Believe me, sorority girls didn’t invent the jello shot. Have you ever seen anybody willingly eat jello? Still, jello sales keep going up, and they closely track the growing population of old people. Lots of baby boomers are retiring, so jello stocks will go through the roof. I’m invested. Just a tip. Not that I’m quite ready to live on jello shots and sunshine. My skin is too pale. In fact, to spot a Breatharian, look first among the sunburned.

  3. Harry the Extremist Says:

    Figures a cult claiming food-less nutrition can be obtained in the universe would get its start in India. I mean, for many of that nations inhabitants, that could be a form of wishful denial.
    I can see how this would rapidly spread to California first, then inflict the rest of the blue states in turn.
    Im hoping this gets some traction as this could be the only thing that saves this country.

  4. F Says:

    I’m with Harry on this: push it in costal CA, NY City and Denver to begin with. Perhaps if Trump were to speak out against it, the folks in those locations would eagerly adopt it and march in the street in favor of it.

  5. AesopFan Says:

    I read about that couple earlier today and my scam-meter went crazy. Apparently the “journalist” took everything they said at face value, despite its blatant impossibility.
    Looked up some articles and Snoped them, and it’s pretty clear that the Breatharian Elites survive because they cheat.

  6. Harry the Extremist Says:

    F: “Perhaps if Trump were to speak out against it, the folks in those locations would eagerly adopt it and march in the street in favor of it.”

    That would be too delicious.

  7. Frog Says:

    The NY Post gave much space to two people who are patent frauds and liars.
    It is biologically impossible to go thru a nine month gestation without food and deliver a healthy infant.
    Normally, death occurs within six, sometimes as late as eight weeks of no sustenance aside from water, as has occurred in many hunger strikes..
    The child welfare authorities should pounce on them.

  8. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Frog, you unbeliever.
    You are operating on the level of insight you currently have.
    If you were to only pay the money to get the magic words, I’m sure you would see it different.
    However, If I had the money to buy that program…
    I’d be living at Ruth Crists….

  9. John Says:

    “He also—after telling us he was a Breatharian who barely needed to eat a thing to stay alive—proceeded to help himself to several of the barbecued ribs that we were eating that evening.”

    He didn’t give up eating he gave up buying.

    I’ve seen people quit smoking that way. They quit buying and start bumming.

  10. Frog Says:

    Burp! I had a prime ribeye steak done rare tonight, covered in homegrown Anaheim chiles. Better than Ruth Chris’s!

  11. Bill Says:

    “I’m not a Breatharian, but in my retirement, I’ve learned that old people are the most efficient energy converters that the world has ever seen. For every pound of food that I eat, my body makes ten pounds of fat.”

    Boy, is this the truth! I have developed the same amazing skill as I’ve grown, um, “wiser” and “more experienced” 🙂

  12. C Moss Says:

    I’m more of a “Breathedarian.” There is no god but Bill the Cat and Opus is his prophet!

  13. KevinF Says:

    What’s more bizarre to me than people claiming to be breatharians, are the normal people reacting with … mere skepticism. People on Facebook arguing against it and posting the Snopes article — as if that’s necessary. Let’s keep it simple folks: 100% of “Breatharians” are shameless liars who do in fact both eat and drink on a regular basis.

  14. neo-neocon Says:


    Actually, I would guess that some are delusional.

    I’m pretty sure the guy I knew was delusional.

  15. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Ok…this is why it’s fun to live on the other side of the planet.

    Up at sparrow’s fart & read about “fat conversion” & Bill the Cat worship & my first cup of coffee shoots straight out my nose.

    Thank you! and I mean that.

  16. Snow on Pine Says:

    Perhaps they should change the name of their cult to “Stupidians.”

  17. huxley Says:

    I once talked with a Breatharian at a New Age Expo in San Francisco. He was a tall skinny black man with big hair manning the Breatharian booth. He was pretty cranky with everyone.

    Later it occurred to me he was probably pretty hungry from having to walk the Breatharian talk during the expo. I’ll bet could have used a Diet Coke and a Mickey D. cheeseburger.

  18. huxley Says:

    There was a German Catholic mystic, Therese Neumann, who claimed to have taken no food nor liquid, except Holy Communion from 1923-1962.

    She was studied by two doctors and four nurses for 15 days, 24/7.They found no cheating but she did lose 8.5 lbs, which she regained within a few days after the study was complete. Some found this suspicious. Others said she was a fake.

    She had other miraculous claims and many Catholics still take her seriously. The Catholic Church has been considering her for sainthood since 2005, but has not yet taken that step.

    I suspect the Church won’t canonize her. That process is quite rigorous. (The Vatican actually called in Christopher Hitchens to testify against Mother Teresa!) Neumann is bit too dubious.

  19. F Says:

    John Guilfoyle: South Island?

  20. huxley Says:

    I had a friend who adhered steadfastly to a macrobiotic diet back in the 70s. Somehow she got to feeling tired and depressed all the time.

    Then she had a steak dinner with a friend and bounced right back. A week later she returned to her lethargy.

    Finally she went to a doctor who told her she was running a several quarts low on B12. In fact she had damaged herself and had to be careful to take B12 supplements thereafter.

    I was vegetarian for a few years back in those days. But eventually I noticed how crummy I felt eating that way. Meanwhile a solid tuna melt or a burger would pick me right up.

    I never looked back.

  21. John Guilfoyle Says:

    F – Close-ish. Oz.

  22. huxley Says:

    You’ve got to learn to get to know the one you love
    To anticipate her every move
    You got to know exactly what she’s thinking of
    She may be hungry
    She won’t say
    You better get a burger or something in her right away

    –Randy Newman, “The One You Love”

  23. RickyS Says:

    Your problem, neo, is that you are trying to understand people. In order for us to understand people, we’d have to be smarter than ourselves. This is very difficult.

    You will enjoy life much more if you stop trying to understand the necessarily mysterious and the ineffable minds of humanity.

  24. mollyNH Says:

    Older folks who put on weight easily or stay large even while on nursing home diets. may have hypothyroidism. they take a blood test to confirm it. & naturally your metabolism slows down when you have this & it is quite common as people age there is medication for it though, left untreated it can cause heart damage.

  25. Cornflour Says:

    I long ago learned that many people don’t like my sense of humor, or they choose to ignore it. Once again, point taken, and I’ll try harder to restrain myself.

  26. neo-neocon Says:


    I thought what you wrote was very funny.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

Monthly Archives


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge