Movement Whose Followers 'Live On Light'

Newswire, September 21, 1999

Jasmuheen is a relatively new and little-known movement founded by an Australian woman called Ellen Greve.

It is based on the concept of "breatharianism", which promotes the idea of living on light and almost entirely without food and liquids.

Followers are encouraged not to try the process without spiritual, emotional and physical training, as unless they have the right motivation they will fail.

When people first decide they want to adopt this way of living, they are encouraged to cut down slowly on their food and liquid intake before undergoing what Jasmuheen terms the "21-day programme" of spiritual cleansing during which they eat and drink practically nothing.

Mrs Greve, who lives in Brisbane and is married with two daughters, claims to have been living on herbal tea, juice and the occasional biscuit since 1993 after being told to change her life by her spiritual mentor, St Germain.

Mrs Greve changed her name to Jasmuheen as her devotion to the way of living developed. She has produced a range of materials, including books and videos, to spread her ideas and claims around 5,000 followers worldwide.

Despite the fact she is relatively unknown, when she came to London last year to promote her latest book, called Living on Light, around 400 people turned up to hear one of her speeches.

Michelle Shirley, administrator of the Cult Information Centre, said the movement could not be legitimately described as a cult as people were not coerced into joining against their own will through techniques such as brainwashing.

She said Jasmuheen spread her philosophy through books, speaking tours, videos and the Internet, and it was down to individuals themselves to decide if they wanted to adopt her teachings.

The movement attracted controversy in Australia following the death of a woman who attempted to adopt its teachings.

Ms Shirley said she was extremely concerned about the possible spread of the movement in the UK.

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