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Fasting Fakir Flummoxes Physicians

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Joined: 23 Oct 2003
Posts: 213
Location: UK

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 5:53 pm    Post subject: Fasting Fakir Flummoxes Physicians Reply with quote

It's more than a little off-topic, but on this page:

there's a story (with the egregious title I used for the subject title) about Prahlad Jani, an Indian man who has (allegedly) neither eaten nor taken a drink for decades; and has just demonstrated that he can live without food & water for 10 days in test conditions.

Thanks to Paul Westran for pointing the article out to me; and also for the suggestion that James Randi should perhaps hand over the $1m prize for proving paranormal abilities (see for more on James Randi & his prize)
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Joined: 22 Jan 2004
Posts: 13
Location: SW Scotland

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having read several articles on this "feat", I very much doubt that the Randi Foundation's Million will be going to India any time soon.
First of all, the room was not sealed - observers and others went in and out several times a day - plenty of opportunity for something to be smuggled in. Then, there is the question of his "religious observances"; he apparently asked for permission beforehand to perform them while undergoing the test. But why did he need to? Meditation, yoga postures and chanting should not need special permission, so just what was he doing?
Also, he claimed not to pass water or evacuate his bowels - so why did he need a fully functioning flush toilet in the room? A bucket fastened to the floor in the middle of the room - in case of need - should have been sufficient.
The rather excitable medic in charge examined the fakir several times; he claimed to have felt urine in his bladder, but when no urine (apparently) appeared, the medic claimed that the urine was "reabsorbed" somehow. Why has this medical miracle never been observed elsewhere?
Really, if this gentleman's claim was genuine, why couldn't he have borrowed David Blaine's box and demonstrated it conclusively?
"My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the Universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all." Stephen Hawking
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