Italy police break up macrobiotics slavery ‘sect’

Latest news

    Brown rice in a bowlImage copyright Getty Images
    Image caption A strict macrobiotic diet tends to rely heavily on whole grains such as brown rice

    Police in Italy say they have broken up a “psycho sect” that enslaved members by forcing them to adhere to a strict macrobiotic diet and cut off contact with the outside world.

    Five people are under investigation over allegations including maltreatment and tax evasion.

    Among the suspects is a business mogul who is accused of manipulating followers of the diet he created.

    Mario Pianesi reportedly told victims Ma.Pi. would provide miracle cures.

    The investigation started in 2013 after a young woman left the sect and denounced its head to police.

    They found that as well as having to pay for the diet and give donations, members were coerced into working long hours with next to no pay.

    Read more about modern slavery:

    Mr Pianesi, a well-known macrobiotics entrepreneur in Italy, is said to have given long speeches espousing the doctrine of his diet and brainwashing followers.

    The weight of one woman dropped to 35kg (77lb) as a result of adhering to his rigid regime, local media report.

    Investigators said sect leaders specifically manipulated people with mental health problems, persuading them to turn away from traditional medicine.

    The allegations include criminal organisation with the aim of reducing people to slavery.

    The accused have not responded publicly.

    What is a macrobiotic diet?

    • Developed in the 1920s by a Japanese philosopher called George Ohsawa
    • Draws ideas from Zen Buddhism
    • Focuses on reducing animal products, and choosing organic, locally grown and seasonal produce
    • Some people only eat whole grains such as brown rice, bean products and fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Others take a more relaxed approach and eat small amounts of meat, fish or nuts
    • Also includes lifestyle recommendations, such as only eating when hungry and only drinking when thirsty, and avoiding microwave ovens and electric hobs
    • Suggests avoiding flavoured, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks
    • Advocates claim it can help treat or cure cancer. However, Cancer Research UK states that there is no evidence to support this
    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43407696

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43407696

    In the same category are

    Commons set for Brexit vote showdown Image copyright PA The row over how much of a say MPs should get in the Brexit process returns to the House of Commons later.On Monday, the House of...
    Rural residents hang up on mobile banking, regulator finds Image copyright Getty Images Consumers in rural areas of the UK are far less likely to use their smartphones for banking than their urban counterpar...
    Newspaper headlines: GCHQ Brexit warning and fizzy drink ‘shortage’ By BBC News Staff Image caption The Guardian says the director of surveillance agency GCHQ has made an unprecedented intervention in a growing r...
    General Electric drops out of Dow index Image copyright Getty Images General Electric is losing its place on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after more than 100 years in a move that refle...
    World Cup 2018: England’s Harry Kane wants to be ‘best in the world’ The making of England's Kane2018 Fifa World Cup on the BBCHost: Russia Dates: 14 June - 15 JulyLive: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport ...
    The nurses tackling mental illness in police custody An estimated third of those arrested by police in England are experiencing mental health problems.Most police forces now have mental health nurses wor...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.