Michelle Pfeiffer was in a breatharian cult and didn’t know it

According to a new interview, Michelle Pfeiffer got involved with some “breatharians” when she first came to Hollywood, people who believe humans can subsist without food or water. She says didn’t realize she was in a cult until later, when her husband started researching a movie about cults. I hate to play Monday morning quarterback here, but don’t you think the trying-to-live-without-food thing should’ve been a giveaway?

From The Telegraph:

Pfeiffer, 55, whose films have included Dangerous Liaisons and Batman Returns, said she became involved with a “very controlling” couple when she was starting out in Hollywood.

They believed in breatharianism – the ability to live without food and water – and put her on a diet “nobody can adhere to”.

She was ‘saved’ when she was introduced to her first husband, Peter Horton, the actor. He had been cast in a film about the Moonies, the name given to followers of Rev Moon Sun-myung’s Unification Church. She said that while she was helping him with research “on this cult” she realised: “I was in one”.

“We were talking with an ex-Moonie and he was describing the psychological manipulation and I just clicked,” she said in an interview for The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine.

“They were very controlling. I wasn’t living with them but I was there a lot and they were always telling me I needed to come more. I had to pay for all the time I was there, so it was financially very draining.”

“They believed that people in their highest state were breatharian,” she added.

Followers of breatharianism believe food is unnecessary and sunlight can provide all the nourishment the body needs.

What the hell was she paying for? She clearly wasn’t pitching in for snacks. And “don’t eat or drink anything” doesn’t sound like a particularly insightful diet tip.

I think the takeaway here is that if you’re trying to start a cult, finding actors is a great way to recruit. Those human sock puppets will yes-and anything. “Live without food or water? Yes, that would be nice! And so convenient! Not only that, but it saves money!”

I tried to start an aquarespiratarian cult once, where we believed the highest form of breathing was inhaling water. It never took off. At least not among mammals.