Verity Linn Died September 16, 1999
The truth about the life & bizarre death of Verity Linn; Last supper Oct 9th 1999 Daily Record
IT was the last time those around the table would see Verity Linn alive as she tucked into a curry at her favourite Indian restaurant.
She laughed and joked, relishing the feast, hardly the actions of a woman who would be found on a Scottish hillside two weeks later, having reportedly starved to death. The 49 year old, it was said, had begun a fasting programme known as Breatharianism, advocated by dubious cult leader Jasmuheen, alias Ellen Greve, a self-proclaimed prophet from Australia. She claims the body can survive on the air that we breathe. http://www.jasmuheen.com/ http://archive.is/XImVe
Verity, a member of the New Age Findhorn Foundation community near Forres, in Morayshire, was found semi-naked, 100 yards from her tent on the secluded shores of Loch Cam, Sutherland, map by a passing fisherman. A copy of Greve’s book Living With Light was found among her belongings and, beside it, Verity’s diary referring to her plans to fast.
A post mortem revealed Verity had died from dehydration and hypothermia with self-neglect – that is, a lack of nutrition – a secondary cause. Yet in our exclusive picture, above, Verity is seen smiling, clad in a waterproof cape and trainers, a knapsack at her side, during a hill walk.
Clearly, she had a healthy respect for nature, so was she likely to defy its basic laws of sustenance? Regardless of the post-mortem results, Verity became condemned to be forever remembered as a decidedly nutty Jasmuheen “disciple”, who jaunted off to the wilderness adhering to the philosophy that we can live on air alone.
That Verity should be seduced by such a philosophy makes no sense to those few friends and family who knew her well and, in their minds, her death will always contain an element of mystery.
The former primary school teacher indeed had an interest in a spirituality and in meditation, and she had even fasted before.
Her long straggly hair and New Age clothes gave her a bohemian air, but she was also a woman whose innate common sense kept her feet weighted to the floor.
Is it likely that such a woman would have become a convert to Ellen Greve’s teachings? For friends, family and colleagues, the whole idea seems highly unlikely.
Greve, a former financial expert from Brisbane, claims to have taken only a little water and a few biscuits over the last five years.
She preaches that humans can find enough sustenance in the nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and hydrogen that we breathe in.
Verity had lived in the eco-village of the Findhorn Foundation for eight years. Her family came originally from Ireland, but moved to Australia when she was a child.
Her four brothers and sister remain in Adelaide.
It was only to her sister Kathleen Tay that Verity stayed close, though she adored the nephews and nieces from her brothers.
Kathleen had last seen Verity two years ago at the foundation and was planning to visit again to celebrate the millennium with her at the end of the year.
She said: “Verity had so enjoyed her time at the foundation. She had been very unsettled before, but she felt she had gone to the right place and she had found the thing that had been missing from her life.”
Verity had taught Aborigines in Australia, drawn to that race’s focus on spirituality.
Kathleen said: “She had so much to give and she loved the children.”
When Verity joined the Findhorn Foundation, she started off working in the dining room, then moved to gardening before being promoted to manager at Cluny Hill College, the group’s residential educational centre.
Her sister said: “She had a lot of ability and that was recognised by the foundation.”
Kathleen cannot believe that her sister would follow the teachings of Greve, saying: “She was no crank. I don’t think she starved herself to death. I think she was a woman who was interested in so many things in life and she read so much. Perhaps she read that woman’s book, but I don’t think that turned her in to a disciple of the cult.”
Robin Alfred, a spokesman for the Findhorn Foundation, had been at the Indian restaurant that night on September 2.
Verity’s holiday was to begin two days later and he remembers her excitement.
He said: “She was in a great frame of mind, very positive, and she ate plenty – there was nothing wrong with her appetite. She was loo king forward to her holiday. She was fit and well.”
Verity had been at Findhorn for eight years and was entitled to a six-month paid sabbatical from January 2000. She planned to take the time away from her job at Cluny College.
Robin said: “She was a very well- respected member of staff, expected to deal with emergencies and guests at the college. She was responsible, outspoken and strong-minded and she certainly wasn’t stupid. I think her death has been a tragic accident, though we will probably never know the whole truth.”
In her sabbatical, Verity had planned to travel the world visiting one country from each continent.
She intended to go on her own, visiting sacred sights and nature haunts. This was to be the trip of a lifetime in celebration of her 50th birthday.
The trip to Loch Cam, Sutherland, was to be as much an exercise as a holiday. She wanted to test the new tent and survival gear she had bought in Aviemore only a couple of weeks before.
One of her closest friends said she last saw her in August when they enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate topped with fresh cream.
The friend, who does not want to be named, said: “Verity was naturally thin and she was vegetarian, but she had a very healthy appetite and she looked great. She was looking forward to her big trip. The time in Sutherland was a way of seeing how she would cope on her own. Even then, she was typically sensible – she had bought all the right gear.”
Verity also had a passion for nature. She gave talks on plants and animals to guests at Findhorn and she yearned for isolation.
The friend said: “She craved her own company – she was very comfortable alone. Each day she had to have some time to herself. She was reserved in many ways. When you knew her, she was open, but it took a while and she was not really that close to many people.”
The friend said that Verity had fasted for a few days in the past, but she had continued to drink plenty and ate rice.
The post mortem on Verity had shown she had not had a drink for at least a couple of days.
Her diary said she hoped to be “spiritually cleansed” and recharged both “mentally and physically” before the new millennium.
Greve’s programme of fasting lasts for 21 days, but Verity died before that could be completed, if it was ever her intention to take the fasting that far.
She referred to Greve in her diaries and to fasting, but her last entries also spoke of her future and how much she loved the beauty spot where she had chosen to camp.
Her friend said: “Verity was a positive person. She didn’t need to follow any particular guru, she didn’t have a sheep mentality. She was widely read and she would take pieces from different philosophies – Buddhism, crystal therapy. Spirituality and meditation were important to her. She never mentioned Greve to me but, if she was interested in her teachings, it would only be certain aspects of it, she would not follow it blindly.”
But Paul Greenaway, an educationalist and a former member of the Findhorn Foundation, believes that the teachings within the village can make its followers susceptible to dubious philosophies. And, within the last few weeks, he claims to have heard other members express an interest in Greve’s bizarre teachings.
At the focus of his concern is meditation, a practice he follows himself. Paul said: “If meditation is misused or overused, it can lead to an inflated state of mind and it can be psychologically disturbing. Some people at Findhorn will meditate for five hours a day. That is too long – half an hour or an hour is enough.”
He said followers were told they could “create your own reality”.
Paul said: “They are simply told that if they believe in something enough, it becomes a reality. In the meantime, life is going on around them and they have lost touch with its reality.”
Perhaps Verity had become convinced she could create a reality where food was no longer needed.
Her close friend admits she believed in the teaching, but said: “Her interpretation was that positive thought can change your future. That you have a say over your destiny. I don’t think for one minute that she thought she could create a reality where she could defy nature. She had too much respect and understanding of it.”
When Verity was found, she was wearing a cagoule pulled over her head and was lying in a foetal position.
She had lain dead for several days before her body was discovered by a passing fisherman.
The weather was wet and cold. One theory is that she got up in the pitch black of night to go to the toilet, but became disorientated in the cold and dark.
She then huddled up to keep warm, but the low temperatures and Verity’s decreased resistance because of lack of food or drink quickly brought hypothermia, which can kill within only a few hours.
Greve teaches that nourishment comes from light and this can help solve world famine.
She said: “I have found another form of nourishment. It is called Pranic light, which is the light of God found all over the universe and inside everyone.”
Greve’s beliefs have brought her 5000 followers and a luxurious mansion, complete with swimming pool, in Brisbane.
She charges up to pounds 1500 a ticket to seminars, which are attracting increasing interest on the eve of the millennium.
Greve claims never to have “connected” with Verity and she has been quick to abdicate herself of any responsibility for her death.
She was criticised last year for the death of disciple Lani Morris, 53, of Melbourne, who lost the power of speech and died after 10 days of her fast.
Another follower, Timo Degen, a 53-year-old kindergarten teacher from Munich, slipped into a coma on day 12 of his fast.
He survived, but later died from an unrelated head injury.
Yesterday Greve said:“Verity Linn seemed a very switched on and dedicated woman. But she began the 21-day programme, then travelled and walked and, unfortunately, it was too much for her system. A woman choosing to do this alone on the moors for 21 days is a much stronger one than I am and I would never recommend that this initiation be done in this way. I suggest that once you begin the programme, you conserve all your energy.”
Greve calls her followers ambassadors of light. She rejects claims that she is a guru and says those who follow her teachings are their “own masters”.
It is clear from those who knew her that Verity was her own master, but she was also – like so many of those at Findhorn – on a spiritual journey that seemed dangerously directionless.
Paul Greenaway believes that many who become part of the Findhorn Foundation are exposed to a “mush” of philosophies.
He said: “There is no ethical framework. People end up doing their own thing and they become very confused and disorientated.”
Perhaps Verity had wanted to experiment with Greve’s teachings without being consumed by the philosophy.
It is possible that she was killed by her own curiosity and she died playing Russian roulette with Greve’s bizarre ideology.
She had learned so much over the years about the spirituality of the body and the mind that she was desperate for a new test of her inner resources.
Either way, the real Verity was very different from the woman dismissed as a gullible disciple who took to the hills to live on light.
- Fasting death woman worked for new-age cult 21 Sep 1999
- Cult woman did not starve to death 23 Sep 1999
- How Michelle Pfeiffer was seduced by a deadly cult
CULT DISCIPLE STARVES TO DEATH ON HILL tues 21st Sept 1999
A HALF-NAKED woman found dead at a beauty spot may have starved to death.
She was a disciple of a new-age guru who advocates not eating, the Daily Record can reveal.
The woman, in her forties had been camping on a hillside and was found dead at her tent last Thursday.
She was crouched in the foetal position with an anorak over her head.
Police were only able to identify her yesterday after tracking down former work colleagues.
They have still not been able to trace her sister – her only known relative.
It was believed she had links with a little-known cult and was indulging in a bizarre religious ceremony when she died.
Greve, who now goes by the name Jasmuheen, claims not to have eaten for five years except for the odd nibble of chocolate.
The dead woman refers to the author and the book in a diary found by police at her tent.
Last night, a police source: “The woman talks about Jasmuheen the diary she was keeping. We believe she was undertaking some sort of spiritual cleansing. Not drinking and not eating in the weather conditions she was living in is obviously not advisable and the hunch is that that led to her death.”
Police were waiting for the results of a post mortem carried out on the woman’s body yesterday. She was found at Loch Cam, near Assynt, Sutherland, by a fisherman.
The spot is so remote that police had to travel by boat with a local gamekeeper to reach it. The woman, who has no family connections with the Highlands, arrived in the area by bus on September 6. It is believed she may have lain dead on the hillside for several days before being discovered.
A police spokesman said: “The search for any next of kin is proving very difficult. It has now become inter- continental. Until next of kin are traced, we cannot release her name.”
It emerged yesterday that the woman had a job working in the Highlands before she went on the camping trek.
Jasmuheen, who has healthy blonde hair and a trim but not emaciated figure, is a former financial consultant specialising in offshore loans.
She claims that each day she consumes only two cups of blackcurrant and vanilla tea and the odd sip of water or orange juice. A few times a year she may nibble on a chocolate digestive biscuit.
She claims 5000 followers worldwide.
Her work has been condemned by nutritionists and dieticians as an invitation to women to become anorexic.
But she claimed in an interview last year: “Anorexia comes from emotional body problems. Living on light is about fitness. It’s not about denial – our work is about joy, ease, grace. If you like to eat, enjoy, but there are many people who are open to another source of nourishment. This is simply a lifestyle choice. The physical body is very easy to look after. What’s hard is to let go of the emotional addiction to eating. Our work is to inspire people to find the divine force within them. One of the ways I choose to find the power of the divine force is simply to let it feed me.”
Scots can enjoy sex like Sting for £445 Dec 1, 2002
THE secrets of Sting’s marathon sex sessions will be laid bare in a course at a new age retreat.
The singer is the world’s most famous enthusiast of tantric sex which allows him to make love to wife Trudie Styler for five hours at a time.
Now, couples are signing up for the pounds 445 six-day course in the love- making techniques.
After being given lessons in the classroom, the couples will go to their bedrooms to do their “homework”.
Eight couples have already signed up for the course, which begins in March at the New Age Findhorn Foundation in Moray.
It is the first time the college has held the Intimacy For Couples workshop, run by French- based Tantra experts Geho and Sarita.
The pair are founders of The School of Awakening and authors of Tantric Love.
Their book claims their meditation system can also help sort out sexual problems such as impotence and frigidity by “creating an awakening of sensitivity and pleasure throughout the entire body.”
It even has a tantra training which promises: “The mystic lover resides in each one of us and the mystic union is the most blissful state of consciousness, the ultimate orgasm and the merging with the cosmos.”
Geho, who is American, and French partner Sarita say that they want to share the methods of tantra “with lovers everywhere.”
The Findhorn Foundation, whose supporters include Waterboy Mike Scott and actress Shirley MacLaine, says the course “can help a couple to deepen love and intimacy”.
“Each day during the workshop, couples will go to the privacy of their bedrooms to practise Tantric partner meditations, which include love- making.” says the workshop guide.
Geoffrey Colwill, the foundation’s finance director, said: “We are expecting established couples in monogamous relationships but we do not have a vetting system over how long they have been together. This workshop is about the sacred practice of honouring one’s partner.” https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Scots+can+enjoy+sex+like+Sting+for+pounds+445.-a094735272
Drive rap comic fined pounds 500 Apr 27, 2008
AN award-winning comic has been fined for driving without insurance.
Phil Kay, 38, drove his girlfriend Nicola Clark’s car while uninsured last year on the A9 between Forres and Grantown-on-Spey in Morayshire.
He was fined pounds 500 and given six points on his licence last week while Nicola, 47, was fined pounds 300 and also got six points at Nairn District Court.
Kay, who won the best stand-up gong at the British Comedy Awards in 1994, was caught by police after an accident. Procurator fiscal Gary Aitken said: “It was Nicola Clark’s car and she knew he was not insured.”
The comedian, who hosted his own Channel 4 show Phil Kay Feels, is living in the Forres village of Findhorn, after a spell at the Findhorn Foundation spiritual retreat and eco-village. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Drive+rap+comic+fined+pounds+500.-a0178322671 https://archive.is/zT7Lx
NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST: LOCAL HEROES Dec 31, 2003
Eileen Caddy, 86, receives an MBE for her services to spiritual inquiry, setting up the Findhorn Foundation in 1972 with her late husband Peter.
The famous Morayshire community, where Waterboys frontman Mike Scott spent time recuperating has also been home to thousands of residents from more than 40 countries. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/THE+NEW+YEAR+HONOURS+LIST%3A+LOCAL+HEROES+-+Ordinary+folk+hit+heights.-a0111755751 http://archive.is/F95PH
Body of man found at Findhorn Bridge 13 Oct 2011
Yesterday’s incident was the second fatality of a paddler. The body of a man in his 50s was found in the River Findhorn south of Forres about 9am on Thursday.
The kayaker got into difficulties in the area near Elephant Rock after capsizing in waters swollen by Storm Frank on Wednesday. A search was called off overnight in worsening conditions, and the man’s body was found the following morning.