Cult Chief Faces Trial By Tv After Woman's Death

Yahoo News, October 12, 1999

THE cult leader who claims people can survive without food and drink is being challenged to prove it after the death of one of her disciples. Last month, Australian environmentalist Verity Linn was found dead on a hill in Sutherland after fasting for several days.

She was a follower of self-styled prophet Jasmuheen - real name Ellen Greve - who runs the Breatharianism Movement from her home in Brisbane, Australia.

Greve advocates a "Living on Light" diet and claims people get all the nourishment they need from the air they breathe. A copy of her book was found beside the dead woman's diary.

In the diary, Verity had written about wanting to cleanse her body for the Millennium.

She is the third person in the world to die after following Greve's programme and the cult leader has now been forced to agree to a seven-day trial under scientific conditions to try to prove her beliefs are true. The test is being carried out at a secret location for an Australian current affairs programme.

And if she gets through it, she plans to visit Britain next month. Greve's beliefs have brought her 5000 followers and she charges pounds 1500 a ticket for seminars - money which has helped to buy her a luxury mansion complete with swimming pool in Brisbane.

The house is crammed with food,which Greve insists is for her husband Jess Ferguson - a man who has been convicted of fraud and twice been bankrupted. She claims she has eaten practically nothing for the last five years.

Last month, she took on a pounds 70,000 challenge to live without food and water for a month - but has so far failed to make the necessary arrangements.

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