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Ad for Breatharian event about woman living without food 'condoned dangerous behaviour'

The committee found the advert was encouraging and condoning dangerous behaviour.
Jun 27th 2018, 6:16 AM 15,415 20

A COMPLAINT ABOUT a Breatharian event advertised on Facebook has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI).

The advert said that Sofia Waapiti Ra would speak about her life as a Breatharian at the event.

The advert referred to Waapiti Ra living “without the need for food” and having developed “the ability to draw life force energy from other sources”.

The advert stated: “Sofia will talk about the many methods used to assist in this process to cultivate prana, qi or energy, such as qigong, bigu and sun gazing where the gathered energy is then used to support the physical body by filling it with life force energy.

“Other methods are breathing techniques and meditation, learning to use the pranic breath to sustain the body vehicle.

Sofia herself has lived for the past year without the need for food and has developed the ability to draw life force energy from other sources.

“This is a process that is not to be taken lightly and requires a long preparation period and on this evening we will explore how it has worked in Sofia’s experience.”

‘Encouraging dangerous behaviour’

The complainant considered that “promising to disclose the secret to replacing food with breathing exercise” was providing medical advice and described the event as “pseudoscience”.

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He also made the point that this advert was targeting vulnerable groups, such as those with eating disorders.

The promoter of the event, Positive Life, stated that the event was an evening to hear a person’s life experience and that Waapiti Ra was not encouraging anyone to take the practice on. They said that this was her own personal experience and she was not offering any course or event, just her own life story.

However, the complaints committee noted that the link used to purchase tickets was titled “a talk on the practice of Breatharianism”, which they considered was publicising the practice of Breatharianism. They also considered that the advert was promoting the practice of Breatharianism.

Ultimately the committee found the advert was encouraging and condoning dangerous behaviour and ordered that the advertisement must not reappear in its current form again.

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Cliodhna Russell

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