Blog Post

Are Cleansing Diets Associated With Scientology?

L. Ron Hubbard L. Ron Hubbard

EA writes: “I just read today that "Master Cleansing" has Scientology roots, but I also read a book by Dr. Don Cobert, M.D. that I purchased that promotes cleansing/detoxing using a similar cleanse using lemon juice, cayanne pepper, maple syrup,etc... I found him on the Joyce Meyer programs back in the 90s . . . should I keep his books in the house?”

Some, but not all cleanse and detox regimens are associated with Scientology.

Specifically, Master Cleansing is a product of Scientology. It was introduced by the entrepreneur Peter Glickman in the 1990s and is a resurrection of a 1940’s diet called the Master Cleanse which is based on the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. In his book, Clear Body, Clear Mind, Hubbard wrote that the body must be detoxed to flush poisons from fat stores via a regimen of jogging, oil ingestion, sauna and high doses of vitamins such as niacin (which can be deadly).

The Master Cleanse contains the same ingredients you list from Dr. Colbert’s book – lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Also known as the Lemonade Diet, this bizarre regimen is touted as being a way to lose weight quickly and to “cleanse” the body. According to this article which appeared a few years ago in The New York Times, celebrities such as Beyonce, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were big fans of the diet at one time.

Famous scientologists such as Tom Cruise were pushing a similar detoxification program (known as the Purification Rundown) to the men and women who were working at Ground Zero in New York after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to protect them from the deadly toxins encountered at the site. According to this article appearing in Slate in 2004, hundreds of rescue workers underwent the program at two facilities in New York.

Dr. Don Colbert Dr. Don Colbert

As for Dr. Don Colbert, even though he's a professed Christian, he's a big proponent of detoxing which explains why he is pushing the Master Cleanse. A sought-after speaker on Integrative medicine, he’s also a best-selling author. Some of his books include, What Would Jesus Eat, The Bible Cure Series, Deadly Emotions, and What You Don't Know May be Killing You.

Essentially, his so-called Biblical diet recommendations are similar to the traditional Mediterranean diet of eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and some dairy while cutting out refined sugar, white flour and processed foods. He’s currently serving as the medical director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida.

Colbert was featured in Charisma Magazine as being a devout Christian whose goal in life is to convince Christians to “wake up and stop trashing your temple.”

It's an admirable goal - too bad it won't' be realized by pushing ineffective cleanses which are scientifically unfounded. As this blog explains, the body is equipped to cleanse itself of toxins via the liver and the kidneys. As long as these organs are in working order, there’s absolutely no need for any additional cleansing, nor is there credible evidence to support the many and varied claims of healing associated with these practices.

Dr. Colbert's work is not based in Scientology - only the Master Cleanse - so there should be no reason why you need to remove his books from your home.