Jasmuheen in 2008
1957 (age 60–61)
New South Wales, Australia
Jasmuheen (born Ellen Greve; 1957) is a proponent of "pranic nourishment" or breatharianism, a practice defined as living without food or fluid of any sort and regarded by the scientific community as a lethal pseudoscience. She makes appearances at New Age conferences worldwide, has hosted spiritual retreats in Thailand and has released books and audio recordings.
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Jasmuheen was born in 1957 in New South Wales, Australia of post-war Norwegian migrant parents.
Jasmuheen developed financial and business management skills working full-time in the finance industry. In 1992 she began combining her experience in business and finance with meditation, selling access to workshops and seminars on the topic and, by deed poll changed her name to Jasmuheen.
In 1998, she appeared in her first film, a six-part direct to video documentary called The Legend of Atlantis: Return of the Lightmasters. The Australian television programme 60 Minutes challenged Jasmuheen to demonstrate how she could live without food and water. The supervising medical professional Dr Beres Wenck found that, after 48 hours, Jasmuheen displayed symptoms of acute dehydration, stress, and high blood pressure. Jasmuheen claimed that this was a result of "polluted air". On the third day, she was moved to a mountainside retreat about 15 miles from the city, where she was filmed enjoying the fresh air, claiming she could now successfully practice Inedia. But as filming progressed, Jasmuheen's speech slowed, her pupils dilated, and she lost over a stone (6 kg or 14 lb) in weight. After four days, she acknowledged that she had lost weight, but stated that she felt fine. Dr. Wenck stated: "You are now quite dehydrated, probably over 10%, getting up to 11%." The doctor continued: "Her pulse is about double what it was when she started. The risk if she goes any further is kidney failure." Jasmuheen's condition continued to deteriorate rapidly due to acute dehydration, despite her contrary insistence. Dr Wenck concluded that continuing the experiment would ultimately prove fatal. The film crew agreed with this assessment and stopped filming.
Regarding her intake of food, Jasmuheen is quoted by the Correx Archives as saying: "Generally not much at all. Maybe a few cups of tea and a glass of water, but now and then if I feel a bit bored and I want some flavour, then I will have a mouthful of whatever it is I'm wanting the flavour of. So it might be a piece of chocolate or it might be a mouthful of a cheesecake or something like that." In the aftermath of the 60 Minutes broadcast, Kathy Marks noted in The Independent, "Visitors to her large villa in the prosperous Chapel Hill area of Brisbane invariably find her refrigerator generously stocked with food, all of it destined, she insists, for the stomach of her second husband, Jeff Ferguson, a convicted fraudster".
Jasmuheen has stated that she has lived on approximately 300 calories per day for the past fourteen years, maintaining full health through supplementing a fluid intake with "cosmic particles" or "micro-food", which she describes as prana. She has stated that she has not yet mastered the ability to be fluid-free for more than short periods.
Jasmuheen was awarded the Bent Spoon Award by Australian Skeptics in 2000 ("presented to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle"). She was also awarded the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize for Literature for her book Pranic Nourishment – Living on Light, "which explains that although some people do eat food, they don't ever really need to."
Jasmuheen maintains that some of her beliefs are based on the writings and "more recent channelled material" of the Count of St Germain. She states that her DNA expanded from 2 to 12 strands to take up more hydrogen. The extra strands of DNA have not been scientifically verified. When offered $30,000 to prove her claim with a blood test, Jasmuheen stated "you cannot view spiritual energy under a microscope". She claimed that such a challenge would be a deliberate attack on her beliefs, and that she refuses to act as an example of her alleged paranormal attributes.
In 2005, James Randi offered her the James Randi Educational Foundation US$1 million prize to demonstrate her claims. In 2010, she appeared in the documentaries 3 Magic Words and In the Beginning There Was Light.
Deaths of followers
53-year-old Melbourne resident Lani Marcia Roslyn Morris died in 1999, while attempting the breatharian "diet" advocated by Jasmuheen. Jim Vadim Pesnak, 63, and his wife Eugenia, 60, were jailed for six years and two years, respectively, on charges of manslaughter for their involvement in the death of Morris. Pesnak had delayed seeking medical attention. Referring this case, Jasmuheen commented that Morris's practice of Inedia perhaps was "not coming from a place of integrity and did not have the right motivation".
Jasmuheen offered similar defence in response to the death of Verity Linn, who died of Hypothermia and Dehydration with lack of nutrition while practising Inedia in Scotland, her diary mentioning Jasmuheen's teachings. Linn's body was found in a tent. In 2012, it was reported that a Swiss woman died of starvation after having attempted to survive purely on light, as taught in one of Jasmuheen's books. In 2017 a Dutch woman living in a household of four practitioners of breatharianism inspired by Jasmuheen died under mysterious circumstances. The three remaining members of the household are suspected of withholding the malnourished woman adequate medical care.
Jasmuheen has written that "If you haven't found the light that will nourish you, you may have the intention to become a breatharian, but in fact you may be putting yourself through food deprivation. There is one known case where a person died when trying to become a breatharian."
In 1999, Michelle Shirley, spokeswoman for the Cult Information Centre, told the BBC that the centre had been contacted five times in the previous 12 months by concerned friends and family members of Breatharians and that "although Breatharianism is not strictly a cult, the centre has been monitoring its activities". She added, "We are particularly concerned about any implication that if it doesn't work, it is the person's fault. That implies there is nothing wrong with the Breatharians' teachings."
- The Prana Program – Eliminating Global Health & Hunger Challenges
- Harmonious Healing and the Immortal's Way
- The Law of Love & Its Fabulous Frequency Of Freedom
- The Food of Gods
- In Resonance
- Pranic Nourishment – Living on Light
- Ambassadors of Light – World Health & World Hunger Project
- Divine Radiance: On the Road With the Masters Of Magic
- Four Body Fitness: Biofields & Bliss
- Co-creating Paradise
- The Madonna Frequency Planetary Peace Program
- "Guru condemned as 'dangerous'". BBC. 6 April 2000. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- "Fresh-air dietician fails TV show's challenge". Yahoo News. 25 October 1999. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Willis, Paul (1997). "Jasmuheen – Can people live on nothing but air?". Interview with Jasmuheen (transcript). Correx Archives. Retrieved 9 December 2006.
- Marks, Kathy (25 October 1999). "Gaunt and weak, the sham diet guru who refuses to see the light". The Independent. London. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- Barry Williams (2000). "Bent Spoon Winner 2000 – Jasmuheen". Bent Spoon winners. Australian Skeptics. Retrieved 10 December 2006.
- 2000 Ig Nobel Prize Winners Archived 25 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "All they need is the air ..." BBC News. 22 September 1999. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- Randi, James (1 July 2005). "Online Newsletter". SWIFT. James Randi Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Walker, Tom; Judith O'Reilly (26 September 1999). "Three deaths linked to 'living on air' cult". The Sunday Times. (London).
- "Swiss woman starves to death on daylight diet". Herald Sun. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012. "This was the fourth known death linked to breatharianism and Jasmuheen's books since the practice emerged in the early 90s."
- Sands, Judy (27 November 1999). "Prison for air cult disciples". Courier-Mail.
- ""Cult woman did not starve to death"". The Herald (Glasgow). 23 September 1999. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
- "Scotland: "woman starved herself to death"". BBC. 6 April 2000. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- "Contact & Muziek: Lichtvoeding". Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- van der Veen, Casper (12 June 2017). "OM onderzoekt sterfgeval in woongroep die voeding afzweert". NRC Handelsblad. Amsterdam. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
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