Worst Pseudoscience Ever

At last week’s SkepchickCON one of the best panels (in my humble opinion) was the Skepchick debate on the Worst Pseudoscience Ever. I (foolishly) did not participate and am currently regretting that because everyone was utterly hilarious and fantastic. So to make up for it, I am adding my two cents here. I give you…the argument for why breatharianism is the worst pseudoscience ever!

Breatharianism is of course the belief that human beings can survive without food or water because all we need is air and sunlight. Somehow this also means that we should eat Big Macs and diet cokes, but essentially we don’t need food because we need to be ready to move to the next dimension (5D). Don’t ask me how this works, but apparently you can live without food, essentially without sleep, and gain superhuman strength.

Exciting elements of this pseudoscience include the fact that the rapture has already happened (December 21, 2012), but we’re in a grace period until 2015 (so buy up the workshops now so you can learn how to clean up your karmic energy!), human beings all have a lightbody which we can integrate with through empowered ascension, and the Illuminati are active and trying to keep us all from salvation.

In my eyes, the best thing about this particular pseudoscience/religion is that it manages to incorporate just about every weird and bizarre kind of mystical woo woo thinking I have ever come across. There’s food paranoia and religious paranoia and QUANTUM and word salad and a 3 step program. There is literally a section of the website titled “ELIXIR OF THE GODS” (available for a mere $10,000).

Of course the worst thing about it is that if you do what it suggests you die.

Featured pic is of Wiley Brooks, the founder of Breatharianism.


Olivia is a giant pile of nerd who tends to freak out about linguistic prescriptivism, gender roles, and discrimination against the mentally ill. By day she writes things for the Autism Society of Minnesota, and by night she writes things everywhere else. Check out her ongoing screeds against jerkbrains at

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  1. Olivia,

    Wouldn’t this be debunked quickly by the simple fact that anyone who took Breatharian advice, end up dead fairly quickly? I mean, you’d think they’d get the message that everyone who has the will to follow this religious belief to its logical conclusion would die of hunger or even more likely thirst, since we can longer without food than water. “Immortality workshop,” more like “slow and painful suicide workshop.”

  2. You would think so, but it actually has a long history, including several deaths.
    James Randi has said the reason he came up with the $1,000,000 Challenge protocol was because of a breatharian. The subject was staying in a hotel while being tested as part of a news show, and Randi was outside waiting for him to sneak out at 3AM and go to McDonalds, which he did.
    Randi thought ‘why am I, an adult, sitting out here at 3AM to catch a guy, who claims he doesn’t eat, sneaking back with an armload of Big Macs? There has to be a better way.’
    For his part, the subject claimed he wouldn’t actually eat the Big Macs, just smell them.

    1. Weatherwax,

      That’s really sad. Its almost like these people are mentally ill, either that or incredibly desperate.

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