Kirstie Alley: Organic Liaison is Not a Scientology Diet
After the launch of her new diet plan, Kirstie Alley is finding herself defending her program against those who have connected her diet to Scientology, a religion that Alley practices. The allegations stem from inaccurate evidence and a misunderstanding of Alley’s intentions.
The issue began when Ms. Alley appeared on the Today show to promote her Organic Liaisons weight loss program and her A&E reality show Kirstie Alley’s Big Life. The assumption that the diet plan was actually a front for Scientology was made that because her business is located at a similar address as the Scientology corporate offices and that a portion of Alley’s staff are practicing Scientologists.
Scientology describes itself as an “applied religious philosophy” that addresses humankind’s mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. The practice does not dictate a day-to-day diet program, but does discourage the consumption of “harmful foods”, such as hydrogenated fats, chlorinated water, aspartame, table salt or MSG, refined sugar, processed foods, and soft drinks.
The Organic Liaisons program is similar, in that it promotes the use of fresh and organic foods, rather than processed foods, to combat environmental toxins that lead to weight gain. It also discourages chemical food additives, such as artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated fats. However, this is not different than recommendations from non-Scientology health and weight loss experts.
Many scientologists also practice a detoxification ritual, not as a weight loss method, but to rid the body of offending pollutants and toxins from everyday life called the Purification Rundown, described in a book by L. Ron Hubbard called “Clear Body Clear Mind”. Scientologists use the purification to clear a chronic health problem, relieve a drug addiction or to deepen spirituality.
The diet is called a “healing diet” and is accompanied by a strict regimen of vitamin supplements and specific oils, exercise, and sauna. One usually follows the Purification Program for two to three weeks, although it varies according to individual needs.
An important part of the first phase of the detoxification diet is water, vegetable juices, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains. Disallowed on the diet are breads and baked goods, animal foods, dairy products, or alcohol. The next level involves a shift to raw fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in chlorophyll, a component that creates the color of green vegetables.
The B vitamin niacin is also a primary component of the Purification diet, and often mega doses are given (up to 5,000 mg). A special beverage called “CalMag” is also consumed, which consists of calcium, magnesium water, and cider vinegar.
In addition to the diet, an intense exercise and sauna program is required to sweat out toxins. Five hours is the typical length of the combination.
Dangers of following the Purification Rundown are that the diet can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance (including hyponatremia and hypokalemia), and heat exhaustion. High doses of niacin can cause flushing, dizziness, and headache. Those desiring to follow the ritual are required by the Scientology guidelines to receive medical clearance first.