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5 Years After Promising to Release Data on Breatharian Prahlad Jani, Dr. Sudhir Shah Offers … Nothing

Five years ago this month, American newspapers and television stations reported the amazing story of Prahlad Jani, a mystic from the Indian subcontinent who claimed to have lived seven decades without eating or drinking, subsisting as a “breatharian.” Even more amazing, said the news reports, was the research of Dr. Sudhir Shah, who declared at a press conference 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.

The news reports stopped there, and that’s important, because for most people, the “miracle” of Prahlad Jani stops at that point in the story too.  Isn’t it wonderful that these powers have been scientifically proven?  For most of the world, the story has not just been stunted at this supposedly wondrous point, but repeated at that point, too.  Five years later, the Prahlad Jani story is still being bandied about the internet as a sign of the apparent reality of breatharian magic (see here and here and here and here and here for a few examples of the ongoing coverage).

But the story doesn’t stop there.  What those 2010 news reports didn’t mention was the following:

  • Dr. Sudhir Shah a devotee of breatharian Jain religious teachings who declares that the purpose of his research is to not to test breatharian claims, but to show that breatharaian practices are
  • 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 five years since the data was supposedly collected.  There have been five years for analysis and substantiation through peer-reviewed publication. 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.

It’s been five years.  There’s no support for the claim.  That needs to be said.

4 thoughts on “5 Years After Promising to Release Data on Breatharian Prahlad Jani, Dr. Sudhir Shah Offers … Nothing”

  1. Daniel Kenny says:

    Really? You are going to have a cow over some Indian Idiot who won”t produce his data? Isn’t that proof enough that the
    guy is full of it? Besides, who cares

    1. Jim Cook says:

      You don’t have to care. I’m not forcing you. But I care, because people use this “scientific experiment” as proof to sell of all kinds of hogwash. Here’s just one example: http://sunlightenment.com/the-solution-a-4-cd-audio-book-by-wayne-purdin/ .

      No one else is sticking around to note the lack of science behind the science, so I’m doing it. It’s that simple.

      1. Ryan says:

        I care very much for your insightful article, thank you so much Jim!

    2. Ze Sheng says:

      I guess it must be extremely difficult to prove that they are “full of it” that one should have the need to used the lack of proof as evidence? In all honesty I see it from the opposite light.

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