In fact, real "thing" was not eating at all. “They believed that people in their highest state were breatharian,” said Pfeiffer. The couple, who she described as "very controlling" convinced her living without food or water was a path to spiritual enlightenment.
Pfeiffer realized the insanity of the aeromorphic lifestyle that "nobody can adhere to" and sought escape. When she met her future husband, Peter Horton, he was starring in a film about the Moonies (another alleged cult); through their mutual research, the grim reality of Pfeiffer's own obsessive diet clicked. Quite right, too: As you might expect, people have died of starvation in their attempts to live on air and sun alone. "Mind over matter" is one thing, as is occasional (short-term) fasting for spiritual or creative purposes, but practices like breatharianism — — have been linked to brainwashing and at least two fatalities.
Pfeiffer escaped relatively unharmed, though she did spend much of her then-meager income on "meetings" with the group.