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3 Years Later, "Scientist" Still Hasn’t Released Data on "Breatharian" Prahlad Jani

Travel back with me to 2010, when American journalists breathlessly spread the story of Prahlad Jani, an Indian mystic who claimed to have gone seven decades without eating or drinking, subsisting only on the air he breathed and an alleged mysterious elixir he said was produced by the hole in his palate. News reports around the world covered the news conference of Dr. Sudhir Shah, at which it was declared that that in a scientific experiment Jani had gone 15 days without food or water and nevertheless managed to maintain vital signs and metabolic functions within “the safe range” for humans.

What those 2010 news reports didn’t mention was the following:

  • Dr. Sudhir Shah is not an impartial experimenter, but rather a devotee who deeply believes in breatharian Jain religious teachings.
  • During the experiment, Prahlad Jani was allowed to extensively “gargle” and “bathe”
  • Prahlad Jani lives in an apartment with a refrigerator. Jani’s followers wouldn’t let journalists open the refrigerator door.
  • No scientific evidence from the experiment was offered at the news conference to substantiate the claims being made.

The last point is the most important: no scientific evidence was offered at the press conference to substantiate the outlandish claim being made. Instead, Sudhir Shah promised that “the claim will be scientifically substantiated after analysis of investigations carried out. All the reports and results will be scientifically analyzed, subsequently and will take some time. The entire study team will meet periodically to discuss the findings and draw valid conclusions.”

It’s been three years now. Has any peer-reviewed journal article been published with scientific evidence of Prahlad Jani’s feat? Look for yourself: the answer is no.

Has Dr. Sudhir Shah published any scientific findings from the 2010 experiment on his website? Look for yourself: the answer is no.

5 comments to 3 Years Later, "Scientist" Still Hasn’t Released Data on "Breatharian" Prahlad Jani

  • monopole

    they are probably puzzled by the mystery

  • MadGenius

    They are probably analyzing it, until the final conclusion is done.

  • jase

    they are probably trying how to skew the data in their religious favor

  • ActualScientist

    Obviously you don’t know anything about science.
    Research can take a long time; there are a lot more things to study than you would think.
    Particularly because you have to study each aspect individually in controlled settings and account for every other aspect of a complex issue.
    It’s not like you can watch the guy for two weeks and instantly know what’s going on.

    So until you actually do this work yourself, keep your impatience in check, and stop trying to invalidate the work being done.

    • Jim Cook


      There hasn’t been any new data collected on Prahlad Jani by this team for four years. To use your words, that team’s plan was pretty much exactly to “watch the guy for two weeks.” And the team itself declared it would be issuing results.

      I’ve done data analysis. It doesn’t take this long. The data will never be released.

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