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From: MM (
Subject:         Another witness corroborates Leah's Story...
Date: September 2, 2014 at 4:10 pm PST

In Reply to: Leah's response to Doug's Rebuttal posted by MM on September 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm:

One good thing that came out of the above thread I
posted about on Facebook where someone posted Leah's
video and others got upset and said it was
exaggerated, etc, is that another person who was at
the same fasting event as Leah was came forward and
told her story to us via e-mail. She wanted it
posted on FB under that same thread so that people
can know the full story since it appears that there
is so much blame-shifting and denial going on with
Doug. Her name is Irene.


I have been watching a thread related to Leah
Branster's fasting video and there is no option for
me to add a comment to the thread (I'm not clear on
all the ways of facebook) so I am responding by
sending you all a group message. It seems that I
need to weigh in on the story since I was an eye
witness and participant at the Costa Rica Fast with
Doug Graham and was side by side with Leah as a

My own experience is that I had no obvious medical
issues, have been 80/10/10 for over 4 years and
wanted better results and fine tuning. My fasting
experience past day 4 was horrifically painful and
uncomfortable physically and emotionally. So going
in to a fast, no one can really know if their
experience will be easy or hard. This is a given now
after what I experienced I know that to be true. And
I know that many of the fasters report having
relatively easy experiences.

Having said that I want to clear up a few things
here about Doug's program and Doug's attitude.
First, as a witness to the part of the program Leah
was present to from day one to the morning she got
into the cab, I was there and I can corroborate that
everything she reports is not an exaggeration but
quite accurate.

She leaves out so much, which if were added, people
would find it even harder to believe perhaps. There
is the question of professionalism, negligence &
just plain bad human behavior on the table here. I
recognize that every human being has a right to
their unresolved issues and character flaws--we all
have them, I have them, and there should be room for
all of us to work them out as we stumble our way
through life. I don't hold that against Doug any
more than I can say I'm perfect and flawless.

But as a professional I hold myself responsible for
keeping my issues out of the room when I'm teaching
or working 1 on 1 with a client, and if I'm offered
feedback, I'm very conscientious about owning my
stuff and cleaning it up with that person. I would
expect that of any professional, especially someone
in a helping profession.

Let me cut to the chase now. I experienced Doug to
be abusive, condescending, judgmental, ridiculing,
both privately and publicly, both covertly and
overtly. I offered him feedback, I shared the effect
his behavior was having on me and he was defensive
and belittling in response, adding then more public

To those of you who think this is about blaming,
please understand that I believe I am 100%
responsible for my own experience and I've looked at
why I attracted or allowed such behavior in a
survival level situation into my life. I can see
that part of it is about being so determined for
healing even if mine was a much more subtle health
condition than Leah's.

That determination, or desperation, or need becomes
a willingness to overlook or work with his
previously obvious issues--I've seen him belittle,
ridicule and be condescending in covert ways on
stage and in person before. I figured I could work
around his enormous alpha male ego and veiled anger
because I wanted what he is selling--the best of the
best of the best knowledge and care when it comes to
fasting, diet, fitness.

Well folks I didn't realize what being in a
survival situation would actually be like with that
behavior and as far as I am concerned, you can't
separate proper care protocols from abusive behavior
when you are assessing the quality of his program.

Please do not make the mistake of assuming that I
am exaggerating. If anyone would like to contact me
directly, I will be happy to give you details and
answer any questions you may have because I don't
want anyone else to enter this experience without
the facts. This kind of knowledge could save lives.

I'll give one example of many about his negligence-
-I was fainting constantly throughout the fast and
refeeding period. I fainted several times an hour
often, learning to get low to the ground whenever I
felt it coming on to minimize falling down.

Nonetheless I fainted and fell hard onto tile floors
several times, hitting my head, being out cold for
several seconds and bleeding. If someone wants proof
I can show you my scar on the back of my head where
hair is still not growing, due to the final fall.

After the first fall where I passed out in the
bathroom, hit tile floor and shattered a ceramic mug
all over the floor, I spoke with him the next day
with concern about my fainting issue. I told him I
was really worried about getting a bad head injury.
He wasn't at all concerned and didn't think any
intervention was required.

The last time I fell was in a public area. They said
I fell like a tree and was out cold for several
seconds. My roommate ran to get Doug who was sunning
at the pool. It took him 20 minutes before he
finally arrived to check on me. It was my roommate
who came for the walking tour. You can ask her
directly but watching his behavior that day and in
other instances turned her away completely from ever
trusting Doug again. (Doug likes to say he has a
100% happiness review from his fasters and
participants and I'm here to tell you it's a bold
and flat out lie--I was a faster and I am not giving
him a good review at all, my roommate from the
walking tour feels the same.)

As for Leah, she did not "turn a corner" by any
stretch of the imagination. I was afraid she was
dying. I was concerned that she might need to go to
a hospital. My fellow fasters were also concerned
the same way. We watched, we comforted her, we tried
to support her. We left it up to Doug to be in
charge and perhaps that was right or perhaps it was
a mistake. Every day she looked like hell and felt
like hell.

He kept pushing everyone to walk and exercise and
using shame and belittling tactics when people like
I and Leah couldn't/wouldn't comply. We were too
weak and I was fainting all the time and he was flip
and distant about it--at least with me. Leah and I
shared about the pressure we felt from him and the
doubt that instilled about what was right--do I push
through the pain and fainting and weakness (both of
us) and bleeding and vomiting (Leah) to walk and
exercise because he is so adamant, or do I trust my
wisdom that says it's crazy to expect that of myself
right now.

It was a very alienating environment which eroded
your trust in yourself. People, I can give you so
many examples of his negligence and abuse if you
really want to know. There is no gray area here,
really. Doug will defend and downplay this to
protect his reputation, unfortunately, and I suppose
that's understandable, but not respectable. And
people who want to believe in him as the best of the
best will want to turn a blind eye to these stories,
to make excuses for him.

After all, it's really hard to believe that his
integrity is that far off when he presents as such a
sincere and caring teacher. But watch carefully
without attachment and you will see for yourself.

My greatest wish is that he give up his fasting
programs and continue to work on his issues, leaving
such survival level circumstances to programs which
are more humane and responsible with lots of checks
in place. And please, keep this dialogue open and
share Leah's video to everyone in the raw food
world--let them decide for themselves.

I am open to 1-on-1 conversations and I imagine Leah
is too. Joy King if you know how to add this
response of mine to the thread, please feel free to
do so, for some reason it won't give me that option.

Thank you everyone for your sincere interest in
education, optimal well-being, high standards of
professionalism & truth. the issue here is not
whether fasting is good. I still believe in fasting
but with my knowledge and recent research I realize
there are ways to improve the experience.

The issue here is whether fasting with Doug Graham
is good. And personally, I would not want anyone to
be subjected to that kind of experience and I would
steer them to other programs instead.


Leah’s response:

Thank you Irene for taking the time to write about
what you experienced as well. David Klein has come
out with a statement against me regarding my fasting
experience, his statements are apparently a response
from Doug.

They are both saying I did not disclose my condition
in my pre-fast application, that I hid vital
information and I did not reveal the truth until
half way through my fast???

There is a lot more to what David Klein has said and
I have been very distressed and extremely upset ever
since reading his comments. Everything he has said
are complete lies. I still have the pre-fast
application saved on my computer. I disclosed every
single thing in my application. I did not hide
anything. I was sincere in everything I disclosed
because I wanted to get the most benefit from
fasting and also obtain his professional
advice/experience regarding my health conditions.

I understand I have damaged his reputation by
sharing my experience and that he is trying to cover
it up. But the truth is the truth and I will not
stand by while innocent people are being lied to.


Irene responded:

I should add that I had an in depth email discussion
about these issues with Doug's billing person so I'm
quite sure that he is well aware that saying all his
other fasters were happy is not true.

Leah I think you are one of the most courageous
people I've ever met. First because of what you were
willing to go through during your fast for healing
and second for standing up and speaking out to
challenge Doug knowing he wouldn't take it well.

Perhaps you'll be willing to do a follow-up video
sharing the application and clearing up the facts
for people who find it hard to believe. By reporting
what happened, it's possible for things to be
addressed but people still have to decide what they
believe. That part is not in your power.

I know you and I know you're telling the truth only
to make it possible for other people to be spared,
knowing that it wouldn't be popular. You have no
other reason and I admire you for that. My hope is
that as David reads this it can plant at least a
seed of concern. People in a position of helping
many have a big responsibility to also be as sure as
they can be to present true facts which isn't always
easy to sort out based on he said she said.
Blessings to everyone on this path.


My comments:

So there you have it. This corroborates what I've
heard from many people via e-mails behind-the-scenes
for years.

David is upset that Leah and I chose to share this
publicly, however, Doug left us no choice because he
refused to change when he was approached privately
and in fact just brushed it off. Even now, he has
taken the "blame the victim" stance and there are
any who are still drinking his Kool-Aid.

This I posted just so people can make a better
decision about who is telling the truth. As Irene
said, some people are going to believe whatever they
want to believe no matter what. That is their right.

However, they can no longer say that they didn't

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