If you have been lingering around the Internet for the past few years, chances are, you would have come across news of Valeria Lukyanova (aka “Real-life Barbie” or “Human Barbie”). This 23-year old Ukranian model revealed to DailyMail that she has converted to “Breatharianism” to keep her slim, 50cm waist.
Breatharianism is a new age practice of surviving without food. According to Breatharian Institute of America, “a Breatharianism is a person who can, under the proper conditions, live with or without eating physical food”. The Institute was founded by Wiley Brooks, a man who has been a Breatharianism for 30-years. However, he has been reportedly sighted leaving a 7-Eleven with a hot dog, a Slurpee and some Twinkies. He also admitted to Colors magazine that he breaks fast with McDonald’s double-quarter-pounder with cheese and diet coke.
On the Institute’s website, teaching followers how to achieve the “Magical 5th Dimension”, Wiley says,” I highly recommend that you eat at McDonalds when ever possible. All McDonalds are constructed on properties that are protected by 5th Dimensional high energy/spiritual portals.”
Apart from converting to Breatharianism, Valeria also claims that she can speak to aliens and has achieved time travel. She is adamant that she comes from another planet – she speculates it might be Venus – and can communicate with aliens through light. She also confessed to her psychiatrist to hearing voices in her head.
My question is this – is Breatharianism, in Valeria’s case, a hidden disorder in disguise, a delusional (perhaps psychotic) belief, or is it as real a religion as Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam are?