"In The Beginning There Was Light" is open and interested in the strange phenomenon of "Breatharianism". And the research presents both sides of the story including the tragic cases of people who died during the "21 day process". The film clearly points out the obvious dangers of renouncing from physical food for prolonged times.
In The Beginning There Was Light" is very open and interested in the concept of "Breatharianism", "Bigu", "Inedia" or however you may call it. But it also shows openly the obvious dangers of renouncing from eating and drinking for prolonged times. We see the tragic cases of people who died during the 21-day-process and we hear warnings not only by doctors but also by "Breatharians" from different traditions who clearly tell us, you should NOT try this just because you hear or read about the possibilty. If you do it out of "spiritual ambition" it can severly harm the body. The ability to live without food seems to be a side effect of a certain kind of state. This is pointed out in "Light" by a lot of protagonists from different angles. So my film clearly is not propaganda for breatharianism.
Nevertheless some so called "skeptics" stated that "In The Beginning There Was Light" would animate people stopping to eat and cause death by starvation. One of these sceptics is Hugo Stamm, a swiss journalist who has been on an "anti-esoteric" mission most of his life and has already been present at the "Light" premiere in Zurich, warning that my film would be very dangerous.
In spring 2012 he published an article in the Newspaper "Tagesanzeiger" in which he stated my film animated a woman to try the 21-day-process. She died during this process in an unheated alpine cabin in winter due to hypothermia and starvation.
"In The Beginning There Was Light" would be responsible for the death of this woman implicates Hugo Stamm´s article. The news agency Associated Press read this article, did not do further research, made a wire copy and spread it to thousands of media outlets around the world from Fox News to the New York Post, who copy & pasted this story.
I have to admit I also had been quite shocked when I read Hugo Stamms article the first time, as I knew that several hundred thousand people have seen my film in the German speaking countries. I immediately contacted the responsible state attorney Dr. Thomas Bürgi, who investigated the tragic death.
What he wrote back to me then, completely contradicted the implications of Hugo Stamm´s article:
"Dear Mr. Straubinger
I can appease you. The dismissal report from the prosecutors office unquestionably states that no third party can be made responsible for the death of Mrs. X. It was not even ascertained, that Mrs. X actually saw your film. The relatives only stated that her mother lived according to the "Breatharian method". An adequate causality between the film and the death of this woman can be, from my juristic point of view, definitely excluded."
So the responsible state attorney did not find an adequate causality between the film and the death of this woman - but the story that my film is responsible can be found all over the internet as a "known fact" from science blogs to Wikipedia.
I would call this a hoax !
Just one mail from the responsible state attorney, who investigated the tragic death, debunks the hoax: An "adequate causality" between the film and the death of this woman can be definitely excluded.
Nevertheless a biased article in the newspaper "Tagesanzeiger" claimed "Light" would be responsible for the death of a Swiss woman.
The story that "Light" would be responsible for the death of the woman is shared several hundred thousand times on the internet until it is a "known fact" from science blogs to Wikipedia.