kottke.org posts about Wily Brooks

BreathariansJun 24 2009

Last night I found out about the most amazing load of crap I have ever heard of: breatharianism, a extreme diet whose most dedicated followers claim to subsist on air only. There are a number of variations on this basic theme but perhaps the most colorful breatharian is Wily Brooks. From Wikipedia:

Wiley Brooks is a purported breatharian, and founder of the "Breatharian Institute of America". He was first introduced to the public in 1980, when he appeared on the TV show That's Incredible!. Wiley has stopped teaching in recent years, so he can "devote 100% of his time on solving the problem as to why he needed to eat some type of food to keep his physical body alive and allow his light body to manifest completely." Wiley Brooks believes that he has found "four major deterrents" which prevented him from living without food: "people pollution", "food pollution", "air pollution" and "electro pollution". In 1983 he was allegedly observed leaving a Santa Cruz 7-Eleven with a Slurpee, 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. On his website, Brooks explains that his future followers must first prepare by combining the junk food diet with the meditative incantation of five magic "fifth-dimensional" words which appear on his website. In the "Question and Answer" section of his website, Brooks explains that the "Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese" meal from McDonald's possesses a special "base frequency" and that he thus recommends it as occasional food for beginning breatharians. He then goes on to reveal that the secret of Diet Coke is "liquid light". Prospective disciples are asked after some time on this junk food/magic word preparation to revisit his website in order to test if they can feel the magic.

He further mentions that those interested can call him on his fifth-dimensional phone number in order to get the correct pronunciation of the five magic words. In case the line is busy, prospective recruits are asked to meditate on the five magic words for a few minutes, and then try calling again; he does not explain how anyone can meditate with words they cannot yet pronounce. Brooks's "institute", in the past, charged varying fees to prospective clients who wished to learn how to live without food, which ranged from US$15 million to $25 million. These charges have historically been presented as limited time offers exclusively for billionaires, New lower fees have been set to $10,000 with an initial deposit of $2,000.

He wants to consume only air but can't stop eating McDonald's hamburgers! Diet Coke is liquid light! My impulse is to say "you just can't make this stuff up, folks" but that's obviously not true. Kinda makes you want to start your own completely implausible religion, doesn't it? (thx, andy)

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