The Word: Michelle Pfeiffer was in a cult

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07:  Actress Michelle Pfeiffer poses for a photo during the 'New Year's Eve' premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on December 7, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Michelle Pfeiffer didn’t know she had been part of a cult until after she’d left it. Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Talk about dangerous minds. Michelle Pfeiffer says that in her early days in Hollywood, she got sucked into a cult.

The future Catwoman moved to LA when she was 20 years old to break into show business, and got pulled into the orbit of a couple she describes as “kind of personal trainers.” The pair were believers in “breatharianism,” the belief that people can survive with no food or water at all. They put her on a diet “no one could adhere to,” Pfeiffer told the Daily Telegraph.

“They were very controlling. I wasn’t living with them but I was there a lot and they were always telling me I needed to come more. I had to pay for all the time I was there, so it was financially very draining.”

Pfeiffer was helping her first husband research a role in a film about the Sun Myung Moon cult when she realized she was in a cult herself.

Pfeiffer said she recognized the techniques used to draw her into the cult. “We were talking with an ex-Moonie and he was describing the psychological manipulation and I just clicked,” she said.

Good thing she got out! I wonder if that couple are still operating their racket. There are an awful lot of actresses who look like they’re adhering to breatharianism these days.


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