Warning of light diet leader

Dundee Courier, April 6, 2000

A New Age leader whose movement has been blamed for the death of a devoted follower was yesterday labeled dangerous by the rector of the university where she was giving a talk.

Green member of the Scottish Parliament Robin Harper, elected Edinburgh University Rector just a few weeks ago, arrived at the beginning of a talk by Jasmuheen to warn students.

The Australian teacher - real name Ellen Greve - is promoting her philosophy which is based on "b reatharianism" which promotes the idea of "living on light" and almost entirely without food or liquid.

Her teachings sparked controversy last year when follower Verity Linn (49) died after giving up food and water in accordance with a 21-day spiritual fast.

Mr. Harper arrived outside the university's chaplaincy center where the talk was being held to urge students to seek spiritual help with Buddhists or approach the health center if they had dietary problems such as bulimia.

Mr. Harper said: "I think she is dangerous. Some young people are impressionable. I can see many people thinking, 'I will have a go at that, it sounds interesting,' then put their health seriously at risk."

Earlier yesterday Ms Greve told GMTV she had survived on less than 300 calories a day for seven years because she absorbed nourishment direct from a creative source. Her teachings were attacked by the show's doctor Hilary Jones as "dangerous."

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