Maybe it’s not the diet for Gerry Brownlee – living on sunshine alone can have grim outcomes

Is it the diet that gives you red spots?

Mrs Grumble, who is concerned about the weight being carried by the likes of Labour’s Parekura Horomia and our Gerry Brownlee, thought it a good idea if Alf suggest they watch the 2010 documentary film “In the beginning there was light”.

The movie centres on Swiss chemistry doctor Michael Werner, 62, and 83-year-old Indian yogi Prahlad Jani.

Both these gentlemen claim to derive sustenance from spiritual means rather than being fuelled on food (or over-fuelled in the cases of our two chubby MPs).

It’s a concept also known as breatharianism.

Alf caught up on recent developments in a Herald Sun (in a report to found here) –

Werner claims to have lived without food since 2001, while Jani told the documentary of how he had lived for 70 years not only without food, but also without water.

I’s not for Alf. He would need his whisky.

But it sounds like a great way of living on the smell of the proverbial oily rag if you happen to be poverty-stricken.

Hence Alf was thinking about bringing it to the attention of Paula Bennett, too, as our Minister of Social Development (although in her case he was going to have to broach the matter very tactfully, in light of her being a somewhat buxom lady).

But he has had second thoughts.

There is evidence maybe something has gone wrong with this way of living.

The Herald Sun is telling us about a Swiss woman who starved to death after believing she could survive on light alone.

She embarked on the diet after watching “In the beginning there was light,” the Herald Sun says, quoting the newspaper Tages Anzeiger.

The woman, from the east of Switzerland, saw the movie and decided to try to survive entirely on light, preparing for the process by reading a book by Australian breatharian Ellen Greve, who goes by the name Jasmuheen.

In line with the book, the Swiss woman, who was in her early 50s, did not eat or drink anything for a week – and even spat out her saliva – before resuming drinking in the second and third weeks.

She reassured her concerned children that she would stop fasting if it became dangerous but she was found dead by them at her home last winter.

Another report explains the woman starved to death after embarking on a spiritual diet that required her to stop eating or drinking and live off sunlight alone.

Oh dear.

Mrs Grumble was astonished to learn of this sad experience.

So what happened?

This is the Herald Sun explanation –

An autopsy showed that she died of starvation, ruling out any other contribution to the cause of death, the newspaper reported.

But if only one person has died…

Alas, this wasn’t the only fatality.

This was the fourth known death linked to breatharianism and Jasmuheen’s books since the practice emerged in the early 90s.

Mind you, the fatality rate seems to be a bit higher among Australians, which might be explained by their inclination to stem from criminals transported to that country a few hundred years ago.

Here’s what Alf learned from the Daily Mail.

In 1999, Australian-born Verity Linn, 49, was found dead in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands after attempting a 21-day fast.

Excerpts from her diary showed she was refusing to eat or drink in the belief it would ‘spiritually cleanse’ her body and ‘recharge her both physically and mentally’.

In a separate incident a woman died in an Australian hospital after attempting a 21-day fast.

But who’s to know how many millions of people have taken up the diet without suffering ill effects?

Alf will not pass on this line of dietary advice to Gerry.

But he is thinking maybe he will press ahead and champion breatharianism to Horomia. He means no mischief, but let’s face it – the government’s majority in the House could do with a bit of help.

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