Woman live streams her slow demise

1 comment
2013, Documentary

Until last week a woman was starving herself to death, live on the interwebs, in the name of her perverse religion.

Back tracking a little, beyond the oft quoted death and taxes, I think most of the population would agree that eating and drinking should get a look in as a couple of life’s certainties as well. But at this juncture and as preceded by the headline, it is important that we point out that we do have to say most of the population. That is of course because there are some individuals who defy logic and think that these certainties in life are in fact, not certainties at all. To be clear, it is not the death and taxes that people are taking exception to, it is the other two bits. The eating and drinking. One of these peculiar individuals who feel like sustenance is optional, is (the suspiciously similar in name to a brand of shampoo) Naveena Shine.

Naveena Shine

In a recent move that attracted wide spread media coverage and could only be described as misguided, the Seattle resident and 65 year old Ms. Shine made the throw away decision to eschew food entirely for 100 days. But just so that we are crystal clear, what Naveena committed to was not a “Live below the line” or Ramadan-only-eat-when-the-sun-is-down exercise. It’s not like that at all. Ms. Shine committed to doing to no food at all.  Absolutely none. This is because Naveena believes that she, like our photosynthesising plant buddies, can “Live on light”.

Living on light is a belief structure practised by a snippet of the population who pretend they don’t eat and who subscribe to the rather risqué religion of Breatharianism. Designed to “bring into our Universe a whole different paradigm of living”, Breathariansim is a classic example of an organizations that peddles preposterous paranormal and pseudoscientific piffle in return for notoriety and fame– but why an organization would want to literally kill off its following I have no idea – It would make more sense for the followers to kill off the organization. But having said that, Breatharianism and its “Living On Light” supposition has continued to pop up for air and into societies view sporadically since the mid 80s – so it must have some appeal, but what that is, we cannot see. Headed up by notable liars and scum-bags Hira Ratan Manek and Australia’s very own Jasmuheen amongst others, it seems Breatharianism is here to stay despite logics best efforts to shut this shit down.  

Succinctly, according to Breatharianisms various wizards of wisdom, the concept behind their revelation that humans don’t need food, is that all humans have a nutritional source embedded within their bodies. Like latent energy embedded in built objects, this is an internal power source every individual is in possession of, that they never need to worry about topping up and never need to worry that it will run out. The trick is just to tap into it.

But in returning to Naveena Shine and the fact she must have been aware that “living on light” is in clear contradiction to millions of years of evolution, basic scientific research and bereft of any sort of logic, she stuck to her guns and decided to test the “no food and continue living” hypothesis out for herself. In doing so, she also set out to confirm her place as one of the world’s largest idiots.

Allowing herself the luxury of water and tea in her attempt to fast for 100 days (because her inner life force couldn’t stretch that far), Naveena hired a caravan, set up a controlled environment, pointed 8 cameras in her direction (so the world could make sure she wasn’t cheating by snacking on yogo’s and dunk-a-roos), tapped into a live webstream so people could see her slowly die and set about her journey towards spiritual enlightenment – updating her progress on social media along the way.

For the first few days things seemed to be going swimmingly. Naveena Shine was just doing Naveena Shine stuff. Walking. Reading. Sitting. But it was not long until the cameras and social media posts designed to immortalise her attempt and catapult her to fame began to capture her rapidly declining health. As the story began to catch hold and medical experts became concerned for her physical health, Naveena maintained that the doctors “can’t see living on light because [they] look through different lenses” – Lenses that my moustache and I would suggest look suspiciously like rationalism and scientific research. So, Naveena pushed on in her vigil and with every passing day the crowd of morbidly fascinated onlookers grew, logging in to watch her die.

Whilst the “Carpe Diem” set amongst us would insist that with every passing moment we are all dying, Naveena was dying rapidly. But yet, she persisted. A glass of water here, a cup of tea there, but literally nothing else. As Naveena weighed in at the 30 day mark, there were a rush of renewed pleas for her to abandon her quest and yet again the calls to lucidity and reason were batted away; “From the feedback I am getting, it is becoming patently clear that most of the world is by no means ready to receive the information I am attempting to produce”. So it continued. And continued. And continued.

But on the 19th of June, just shy of the half-way point, Naveena signalled she had had enough and a universal sigh of relief was sighed that day.  After 47 days of not eating, Naveena Shine had apparently shed an unbelievable 57kg from her diminutive frame since her  the beginning.  Ever the pragmatist she said the “overt” reason for killing the experiment was not a lack of food, but rather the much more human aspect of financial difficulty brought about by financially sustaining the caravan she was renting for the experiment.  She claimed she would lose the trailer she had been staying in and that her monetary woes were “a simple a message from the universe that it is time to stop”.

On the day the adventure ended, it was with a parting jab at rational thought that Naveena Shine exited the scene; “After 47 days I still feel really good, weight loss is slowing and all seems well. However, I still have no evidence that I am actually living on light and it could well be slow starvation. Now that I am ending the experiment, I will never know.” In response, my moustache and I would posit that if after 47 days of no food Naveena still doesn’t know, Naveena never will.


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Innovative ventures. Creative pursuits. Writer. Insights Professional. Brand Strategist. Digital Venturist. Social Media Aficionado & Sustainability enthusiast. www.harrithomas.com/

One thought on “Woman live streams her slow demise”

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