France worried by Australian anti-eating cult

21st November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 20 (AFP) - French authorities have put a retreat organised by an Australian self-styled guru under surveillance, worried that it is a dangerous cult that had a role in the deaths of three people around the world, the newspaper Le Parisien reported Sunday.

PARIS, Nov 20 (AFP) - French authorities have put a retreat organised by an Australian self-styled guru under surveillance, worried that it is a dangerous cult that had a role in the deaths of three people around the world, the newspaper Le Parisien reported Sunday.

Jean-Michel Roulet, the head of the French government's anti-sect unit Miviludes, told the newspaper that the prolonged fasting preached by the woman, Ellen Greve, was "aberrant" and that her group used "a veritable attack on an individual's freedom by way of mental manipulation."

A seminar in the southeastern village of Devesset headed by Greve -- who calls herself Jasmuheen -- was under "high surveillance," the newspaper said.

Officials said, however, that those attending were all adults and that, barring a mishap during the gathering, there were no grounds for police to break it up.

Greve, 48, teaches that people can live almost entirely without food or water under an approach she calls "breatharianism". She herself claims to have eaten nothing since 1993, surviving only on air and light.

Three people believed to have been influenced by her principles have died.

In Australia, two members of an association close to Greve were convicted after the death of a woman. Another disciple died in the Scottish highlands in 1999. And in 1997, the death of a kindergarten teacher was reported in Germany.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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