Johnny Lovewisdom

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Johnny Lovewisdom (born John Wierlo; July 23, 1919 – October 12, 2000), also known as the "Hermit Saint of the Andes",[1][2] was an American-Finnish author who wrote about diet, health, natural living, religion, and spirituality.


At Vilcabamba, International University

Early diet ideas

Johnny Lovewisdom originally promoted a strict fruit diet but later changed it to the "Vitarian" diet with vegetables, raw yogurt, clabber, kefir and avocado. Experimenting with many diets throughout his life, including a diet of papaya leaf salads with clabber, which he claimed healed an avascular tumor,[3] he also promoted "Modern Live Juice Therapy", breatharianism (the idea that humans do not need food or water and can live on "spiritual energy" alone.[4]), aquarianism (water fasting), heliovorism (solarism), and a number of other unusual "lifestyle" diets. He suffered from paralysis, poor eyesight and neurological problems, which he claimed to be a result of working as a farm laborer in the pesticide contaminated orchards of California.[5]


Johnny in Vilcabamba

In 1938, he made plans to emigrate to South America to avoid being conscripted as a soldier in World War 2.[6] In 1944 a U.S. newspaper article reported how in 1940 a group of young Americans including Lovewisdom and the Windish family (including Marian, James, Dick and Fred Windish) set out to found a nature colony in the equatorial forest.[7] The article, which was to be titled Father Of The New Age, depicted Lovewisdom as the biological father of the New Age and New Race, even though he wanted nothing to do with the scheme. The reporter later changed the title to Danger In Paradise. There were two previous articles, Dec.,1942, and May,1943. In those, he mentioned that Marian Windish grew up with her brothers in White Pigeon, Michigan. Their farm was sold in 1940 to John W. Boughan. They moved to Florida. There, Marian Windish met Walter Siegmeister (1903-1965) at her college. He told her of his dream to make a super-race who worship the sun. When Siegmeister met Lovewisdom in Ecuador in 1941, they spoke of plans for creating a paradisian utopia and a super-race in the Ecuadorean jungle, but Lovewisdom later stated that he only wanted to begin what he called a Propitiatory Shelter for the Apocalyptic Camp of the Saints.[6][8]

Later life

Bee Horton picking pineapples.
International University of Natural Living

In the 1960s, Lovewisdom lived as a hermit in the mountain crater lake, Quilotoa, in Ecuador,[9][10] which he felt would shield residents from nuclear fallout.[11] This was further documented in Lovewisdom's book Ecstatic Recreation Thru Paradisiacal Living where he invited 'paradisians', to build a 'camp of saints' in Quilotoa.

An article about Vilcabamba - an 'island of immunity' from cardiovascular disease, in Reader's Digest ignited Lovewisdom's interest, besides its abundant fruit varieties, so he moved there from Otavalo in the north of Ecuador. Dr. David Davies of University College London, and Dr. Alexander Leaf of Harvard University, both gerontologists, visited Lovewisdom due to his many articles on the longevity of the Vilcabamban people.


Wearing a white robe and cross.

Lovewisdom believed himself to be the reincarnation of Ananda (the primary disciple of Buddha), Milarepa and John the Baptist.[12]Template:Unreliable source? As the official successor to Kuthumi Lal Singh,[13]Template:Unreliable source? Tashi Lama and Maha Chohan, he founded the International University of Natural Living at Vilcabamba, Ecuador in 1962 with its credo "build paradise and eat the fruits thereof" and correspondence school which issued the degree 'Doctor of Vitalogical Science' or D.Vit.Sci., and Ph.D in Philosophy and Agronomy. He founded the "Pristine Order of Paradisian Perfection", a religious order, which was registered with the Ecuadorean government, and later founded the International University of the Vitalogical Sciences.[14]Template:Unreliable source?

Final years

The early 20th century nature cure movement inspired authors such as George R. Clements, Walter Siegmeister, Theos Bernard and Johnny Lovewisdom. Siegmeister told of his search for the safest place on Earth from radioactive fallout in order to build a paradise,[15] an idea later developed by Lovewisdom in Handbook on Radioactive Nuclear Fallout. Lovewisdom's many beliefs were documented in Viktoras Kulvinskas' Survival Into The 21st Century in the 1970s, which sold over a million copies.

In 1998, near the end of his life, inspired by Spanish fruitarians who visited him, he returned to promoting a strict juicy fruitarian diet, which he called the "Vitarian Fruit-Salad Diet", described in The Ascensional Science of Spiritualizing Fruitarian Dietetics (1999). His low fat stance was also corroborated by Dr. Corwin Samuel West of the International Academy of Lymphology,[16] Dr. Douglas N. Graham who warned against high raw fat diets[17]Template:Unreliable source?, Otto Carque [18] and Arnold Ehret.[19]Template:Unreliable source? Johnny Lovewisdom returned to living food, lacto-vegetarian diet after failing to thrive on a strict fruit diet. Lovewisdom died in Quito, aged 81.


Lovewisdom produced many books in English and Spanish on breatharianism, fasting, fruitarianism, natural hygiene, naturopathy, orthopathy, parthenogenesis, vitalism, yoga traditions, aquarian eugenics and ascensional science. Further topics included: anthropology, clairvoyance, body chemistry, comparative anatomy, geophysical changes, lemurian genesis, neuro-cerebropathology, organiculture, plant botany, tropical colonization and esoteric dietetics in religion, history and metaphysics. From the 1990s, Lovewisdom's books were published by Paradisian Publications, San Francisco.

Notable writings

  • Spiritualizing Dietetics: Vitarianism (also called Vitarianism: Spiritualized Dietetics), where he promoted a raw food diet called Vitarianism, which included raw fruit, raw yogurt and vegetables.
  • The Buddhist Essene Gospel of Jesus explains John the Baptist's fruitarian diet as written in the original Syriac Peshito Scriptures and handed down through the centuries, through direct translation into English from the original Aramaic tongue spoken by Jesus and recorded by John. The translation showed how words in Aramaic lexicons, have dual or triple meanings, and how previous translators such as Edmund Bordeaux Szekely in The Essene Gospel Of Peace, used imprecise definitions, ascribing a biogenic diet to John and the Essenes, instead of a frugivorous one (frugivorous means fruit, vegetables and a protein source which in John's case was grass-fed dairy products like yogurt and cheese). The 2004 edition featured a new Appendix entitled The Healing Transition Diet.
  • The Ascensional Science Of Spiritualizing Fruitarian Dietetics, his penultimate book, where he promoted the juicy fruitarian diet which excluded fat-rich fruits.[20]
  • Truth About Healing, his final book, on diet and natural health, the problems of alternative medicine, and the dangers of nuclear fallout.
  • Maitreya: The New Age World Teacher: The Lovewisdom Autobiography (2 Volumes). His life-story is chronicled in the autobiography Maitreya: The New Age World Teacher.
  • Modern Live Juice Therapy.
  • Vitalogical Hygiene.
  • The Lovewisdom Message On Paradise Building.
  • Mystical Anthropology.


Dr Teofilo de la Torre of Panama, critiqued Lovewisdom declaring nuts and seeds were optimal foods, though earlier advised against them, in the same book.[21] Health writer Gabriel Cousens attributed Lovewisdom's health problems to B12 deficiency,[22] although Lovewisdom attributed these to pesticides exposure and hospitals.[23][24]

External links


  1. Rose, Joel (1985). The Vegetarian Connection. Facts on File Publications. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8160-1003-5. "...proponent of the vitarian way of life is Dr. Johnny Lovewisdom, the Hermit Saint of the Andes, ..." 
  2. Amsden, Matt; Amsden, Janabai (2013). The Rawvolution Continues: The Living Foods Movement in 150 Natural and Delicious Recipes. Simon and Schuster. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-4516-8702-6. "...led Lovewisdom to South America where he became known as the Hermit Saint of the Andes." 
  3. "After several years of dressing salads, often having nothing but papaya leaves for greens, an avascular tumor I had size of an egg was expelled without returning on my neck, using clabber thus.", A Look In A Nook Of A Vitarian's No-Cook Book, Johnny and Ruth Marie Lovewisdom, International University Press, Loja, Ecuador, 1963
  4. Skeptics Canada: Skeptical Topics: Breatharianism
  5. John Brandi in Reflections In The Lizard's Eye: Notes From The High Desert, Western Edge Press, 2000, 1889921084, 9781889921082, 190 pages
  6. 6.0 6.1 Introduction to Handbook on Radioactive Nuclear Fallout, Dr. J. Lovewisdom
  7. J. M. Sheppard, The American Weekly, 31 December 1944 edition.
  8. "The new Utopia, however, was not to be: Wierlo later claimed that he had no intention of creating a super-race"
  9. Mundo Andino Article
  10. "This strange lake in this forsaken solitude of the Andes, shut off from all else by steep crater walls, provided only by a tongue of fertile land, and lost in a miracle of suggestive and exotic panorama, was sought and chosen by this strange personage to be converted into his sanctuary.", A Message Of Peace By One Who Lives In A Volcano, Mundial, Uruguay, June 7th, 1949, Miguel A. Puentes, Quito, Ecuador
  11. Viktoras Kulvinskas, Survival Into the 21st Century, Ihopea Inc, 1970s
  12. The return of the world teacher - Johnny Lovewisdom – The Hermit “Saint” of the Andes
  13. The return of the World Teacher - Johnny Lovewisdom – The Hermit “Saint” of the Andes
  14. The return of the World Teacher - Johnny Lovewisdom – The Hermit “Saint” of the Andes - part 1
  15. Invisible Eagle, "There he met a friend, John Wierlo, who had moved from America the previous year, and together they conceived the idea of creating a new Utopia and a 'super-race' somewhere in the jungles in the east of the country."
  16. Corwin Samuel West, The Golden Seven Plus OneTemplate:Unreliable source?, Utah: Samuel Publishing
  18. Rational Diet: An Advanced Treatise on the Food Question, Otto Carque, Health Research Books, 1996
  19. ""All fats are acid forming, even those of vegetable origin, and are not used by the body. You will continue to like, crave and use them only as long as you can still see mucus in the 'magic mirror'. What doctors call heat calories is caused by the fats in friction, obstruction in the circulation; they constipate the small blood vessels.", 'page 164, Mucusless Diet Healing System, Arnold Ehret, USA: ELPC Inc, 1923
  20. The Ascensional Science of Spiritualizing Fruitarian Dietetics, Johnny Lovewisdom, Paradisian Publications, 1999 final chapter: Why Not Avocadoes, Olives & Seed Oils For Salads? page 40, and, epilogue: Fats & Oils Turn Up As The Key Factor For Middle Age, Elderly And Even Many Young Fruitarians Unable To Synthesize Fat From Fruit Sugar, page 41.
  21. The Process Of Physical Purification Through The New And Easy Way To Fast, Teofilo de la Torre (1954)
  22. Spiritual Nutrition, Gabriel Cousens, page 278.
  23. Modern Live Juice Therapy, J. Lovewisdom, International University of the Natural Vitalogical Sciences, 1954
  24. Nine Months In A Snake Pit, J. Lovewisdom, International University of the Natural Vitalogical Sciences