When actress Michelle Pfeiffer was in her twenties and new to Hollywood, she fell in with a couple of personal trainers who promoted the Breatharian lifestyle. Breatharianism is a religious cult with a grab bag of assorted spiritual, mystical, and extraterrestrial beliefs. Their most well-known and controversial stance is their contention that humans don’t need to eat and can live on sunlight alone.
Pfeiffer says the couple started her on an exercise program and severely calorie restricted vegetarian diet. “They were very controlling. I didn’t live with them but I was there a lot and they were always telling me I needed to come more. I had to pay for all the time I was there, so it was financially very draining. They believed that people in their highest state were breatharian.”
Breatharianism was started by American Wiley Brooks, a septuagenarian black man who claims to be the reincarnation of John the Baptist and to have the “frequency” of Christ inside him. Brooks charges adherents $1Million a seat to attend his Immortality Workshops and sells miracle water at $10,000 a bottle. In an interview with Vice, he shared some of his outlandish views.
“You notice on my website I say, “I am the Lord thy God and creator of this universe?” That’s the truth… The first problem is, people don’t know what God looks like and who he is. Why in the hell couldn’t it be me? Why couldn’t it be you and why couldn’t it be the dog on the street? We all come through the birth canal basically, but I came in with a lot more power than the average person has. I was aware that I came from somewhere else to begin with…
I’m referring to another planet. That’s not important now. My problem is, being here on this planet and keeping as many people as possible alive to move into the new world. How do I get people into that new world? I am actually in the fifth dimension as I talk to you at this moment. ”
Breatharianism has gained popularity thanks to the less extreme, more palatable packaging of the message thanks to the white Australian woman Ellen Grave, who left the financial industry to rebrand herself as “Jasmuheen”, a Breatharian guru. It has also received press with the help of Ukrainian model and viral internet sensation Valeria Lukyanova, the ” living Barbie” who promotes the lifestyle and believes she is an alien.
Fortunately for Michelle Pfeiffer, her then_husband actor Peter Horton was cast in a film about the “Moonies” of the Unification Church. While helping him research that cult, she recognized she was in one herself. “We were talking with an ex-Moonie and he was describing the psychological manipulation and I just clicked,” she said in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph. Pfeiffer is today a cult-free vegan who describes herself as a foodie.