“My knees are weak from fasting, And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.” (Psalm 109:24; 35:13; Heb. 12:12)
This post is in response to this article:
4/22/12: “Hunger Striker Brendon O’Connell Writes From Aussie Jail”:
Before we get to Brendon, a little snip of “political hunger strike” history:
Above Photo: 1943: M.K. Ghandi (1869-1948) ends 21-day fast (zoom in to the top headlines on each side of the Gandhi photo):
Also in 1943 from the Dr. Herbert M. Shelton (1895-1985) Bio & Timeline:
“1943: Ghandi (Gandhi) had long been inspired by Shelton’s work, especially his treatises on fasting. Ghandi, accordingly, invites Dr. Shelton to work and study with him in India for a six year sabbatical. Dr. Shelton was giving the Ghandi invitation serious consideration when World War II forever interrupts their plans. Ghandi had referred to Shelton’s (1934) “Volume III of The Hygienic System” (aka “Fasting & Sunbathing”) throughout his fasting career: more than half of his 17 fasts were political in nature, protesting The British occupation of what should have been a free India.”
“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi or The Father of the Nation in India, undertook 17 fasts during India’s freedom movement. His longest fast which lasted 21 days, was undertaken in Delhi in 1943 to stop communal riots. Fasting was a weapon used by Gandhi as part of his philosophy of Ahimsa or Non Violence”:
Also: Timeline of Gandhi’s life:
Above Photo: M.K. Gandhi in 1895 (age 26), the same year Dr. Shelton, a fellow pacifist, was born:
Somebody should send the 40-year-old Brendon one of Dr. Herbert M. Shelton’s books! (Is Brendon allowed books in the Aussie jail?)
Brendon has a totally wrong mindset re fasting; & his thinking about it & describing it in such NEGATIVE terms is not going to help him.
Brendon’s erroneous comments (due to lack of awareness & education on the subject of fasting?) include the following (caps added for emphasis):
–“without SUPPLEMENTS you would be DEAD within a MONTH from STARVATION complications”
–“how BADLY the body & mind reacts to STARVATION”
–the body “probably gets DOUBLY UPSET” knowing the fast is “SELF-IMPOSED”
–“plenty of time to ruminate” on “physical/psych SYMPTOMS”
–“watching my body WASTE AWAY”
–“I try NOT TO LOOK in the mirror”
NONE of that is TRUE & is such totally WRONG thinking & VERY NEGATIVE. How sad! He is trying to fast with the mindset of a brainwashed AMA physician!
At age 35 (1987) I fasted 21-days (water only) & I was a five-foot, 115-lb. (overweight for my small bone frame) shrimp (compared to the much larger muscular Brendon) & I thoroughly ENJOYED the experience because I studied & understood IN ADVANCE everything about fasting & how FANTASTIC it is for DEEP CLEANING the body (blood, tissues, organs, cells, etc.) AND THE MIND! I was ECSTATIC, not doom & gloom.
Of course I was not a “political prisoner” either so I’m sure that doesn’t help Brendon’s mindset.
–Brendon should STAY IN BED (if they allow him to).
–He must drink plenty of WATER (you WILL die without water, not supplements!) WARM water goes down a lot easier while fasting if he has any way to access WARM water.
–He’s right you get colder while fasting. My feet were freezing (during Spring in SW Florida!), but I knew that IN ADVANCE & got a HEATING PAD. Can Brendon have a heating pad in jail? Somebody send the man an electric heating pad!
–He’s right you don’t sleep as much, but again, I knew that in advance as well & took plenty of reading material. If he’s going to read, he should read something POSITIVE about fasting. Send him SHELTON’s books! (Too much reading is stressful during fasting. The ideal is to keep your eyes closed & rest. But I also know it can get boring so I did a lot of reading.)
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people fast (water only) all the time for 21-40-50, even 90-days (lung cancer) for POSITIVE reasons & results. Over 30,000 people fasted under Dr. Shelton’s care alone, not counting those who fasted under all the other Natural Hygiene doctors & on their own at home.
Don’t think or use negative terms like “HUNGER Strike”! (Unless you’re trying to egg on the Press/MSM.)
Think POSITIVE: “I am FASTING to REJUVENATE, RENEW, & CLEANSE my body from the inside out, from deep within my mitochondria right on up!! AND, MY BODY & BRAIN LOVES ME FOR IT!!” It really does!
Any “SYMPTOMS” are merely the CLEANING PROCESS AT WORK. They are a GOOD THING, not something to dread or fear. I was thrilled when my wrists & ankles broke out in red itchy spots because I knew IN ADVANCE that the body, when cleaning itself, ALWAYS pushes toxins out to the EXTREMITIES first. And when my urine turned a deep dark rust-colored ORANGE, I was again THRILLED because I knew in ADVANCE WHY it would happen, that the kidneys were filtering & expelling a lifetime of deeply-held toxins, etc. And I only felt nauseous the first three days & never a bit of nausea after that. The weakness was the tough part but, again, I knew it would come & why (Toxins = Weakness).
I never hit any “psychological walls” because I knew God was on my side. He’s the one who directed me to the fasting information six months prior (in answer to three-months of prayer!) But even if you DO go through a spell of depression, etc., just KNOW “this too shall pass” as it is a CLEANSING & filtering out of toxins from the brain & bloodstream!
Of course you cannot fast forever & live (Brendon is not doing a “fast unto death” I hope? (like Gandhi threatened to do at least twice but his adversaries caved in within a few short days so he didn’t have to). Since Brendon says he is a fellow Christian, I don’t think the Lord would approve of a “fast unto death.” And not being a “political activist” myself, I cannot speak to that aspect. I am speaking from a HEALTH standpoint only.)
The REFEEDING period is extremely important. Probably in jail they won’t provide fresh raw fruits & veggies(?) which is THE correct way to break a long fast, & just a LITTLE at a time! If you “pig out” after a long fast it can hurt you (don’t run out & eat meat & potatos!)
The re-strengthening period is also important. It should equal no less than half the length of the fast (ie, fast 21-days, then stay mostly in bed with slowly increasing your amount of activity for 10-11-days after, etc.) Don’t go run a marathon the day after you break a long fast!
Entire churches fast 21-days at the beginning of every year, Pastor Jentzen Franklin’s church in Georgia, & Pastor Bob Rodgers’ church in Kentucky are two that I know of from Christian TV. Rodgers personally has done over 40 21-day fasts in his lifetime & he’s got the rosey pink cheeks of a baby to show for it! Both these guys have lots of fasting info at their sites. See my links page for more info:
In 2002 the steward of an Orlando Christian TV Channel, Claud Bowers, decided to do his first ever 21-day fast (as an older man) ON TV! He kept working & running the station & giving daily reports of his fast (NOT RECOMMENDED to keep working!) But then he disappeared for awhile. Later he told how he hit his “psychological brick wall” (got very emotional & weepy) on Day 11 & wanted to quit. Bob Rodgers flew down to pray, encourage, & help him through the rough spot & Bowers carried on & completed his fast. People who try to run their normal lives AND FAST are nuts, if you ask me. The whole idea is to REST REST REST! Give your body a REST!
The 1934 Herbert M. Shelton book that Gandhi used as a reference was this one, online in full here:
“The Hygienic System, Volume III, Fasting & Sunbathing”:
Just the fasting chapters of that book were later re-published separately in 1978 & 1993 under the title of “The Science & Fine Art of Fasting” — used hardcopy versions are still available online, but many other Shelton books cover fasting as well:
“This is the fasting portion only of what was originally published as (ASIN:B000V10A7G) Fasting and Sunbathing – The Hygienic System, Vol III (reprint). A newer title by Shelton is (ASIN:) Fasting for Renewal of Life. It appears to cover much of the same information but in a more condensed, less technical form.” –From a detailed review at above Amazon link.
“The Science & Fine Art of Fasting”
(From Volume III, The Hygienic System, Fasting & Sunbathing – 1934, 1950)
By Herbert M. Shelton
Publication Dates: 8/1/78 & a 5th Edition 12/1/93
Victoria Bidwell lists the full Volume III on her site for $50:
Brendon (above)’s full quote:
“I stopped the h.s. (hunger strike) after some major psychological symptoms at 29 days. This is not uncommon. I am physically healthy. I am down to 87 kg from 104 kg. I resumed the h.s. on Sunday morning, the 8th April, after 4 days off. The prison wasn’t very happy. I try not to look in the mirror. Without supplements you would be dead within a month from starvation complications. I was surprised at just how badly the body and mind reacts to starvation. It probably gets doubly upset that it knows it is self imposed. Plus, unlike in a survival situation, you have plenty of time to ruminate on your physical and psychological symptoms in jail. This is why I enjoyed receiving mail and I write back immediately, blood glucose allowing.
“My enemy was sleep deprivation, the body seems to be coping although watching my body waste away feels extremely strange. I tend to wear more clothes to cease reminding myself. Besides, you do feel colder because your metabolism slows right down.”
I hope somebody can print out Shelton’s book & mail or deliver it to Brendon, if the authorities will allow him reading material? Let’s hope so. He definitely is in need of a change of mindset regarding what he is doing.
As the saying goes,
“FASTING IS NOT STARVING!”
Brendon should probably stop his fasting for now, regroup, rethink, & READ more about fasting first before embarking on another fast. Multiple LONG fasts are not recommended in the same year anyway. (I did 21 + 7 + 7-day fasts in the same year, but they were MONTHS apart; & then 5-7 day fasts over the next few years).
“Most of our so-called thinking processes are devoted to finding excuses for going on believing as we already do.” –Herbert M. Shelton
The young Dr. Shelton (above photo) self-published his first (of 40) books in 1922 at age 27, entitled “Fundamentals of Nature Cure,” later changing the title of it to “An Introduction to Natural Hygiene.”
Ten years earlier, at age 17, he had already declared: “The medical system is the most dangerous of all.” :)
See also this prior article re Brendon:
3/22/12: “Jailed Christian Activist Refusing to Eat”:
And speaking of Gandhi & India, see this other recent article at Henry’s site:
Above Photo: Nehru & Gandhi 1942: Which one was the Freemason? Easy guess!
4/15/12: “The Myth of India’s Independence”:
See this post with photos at: