Alexander L. DVORKIN
Overview of the Activity of Health-Related Cults in the Countries of the Former URSS
Nadezhda Antonenko lives in a suburb of Moscow. She used to work as a director of Young Pioneers (a soviet communist version of the Boy/Girl Scouts) Summer Camp. At the same time she was very much interested in extrasensory healing methods and ‘traditional’ witchcraft medicine. But the Soviet Union has collapsed and, together with it, the Young Pioneers organization. Soon after that, in 1992, Mrs Antonenko conveniently had a vision of a mysterious elder in white who gave her his rod and said that she had to become a Christian and heal people. Together with this invisible rod Mrs. Antonenko received an energy that filled her and she began seeing though untransparent material objects. Her christianisation was limited to getting several icons in her room and learning several prayers by heart. First, she started to receive visitors and to recite prayers with them. In 1994 she began to hear melodious voices saying that she receives a gift of healing oncological diseases. That was the beginning of her active work.
Today Nadezhda Antonenko is the founder and the director of "Nadezhda (Hope) Center of Medicine and Rehabilitation". She is always surrounded by dozens of people who were allegedly healed, mostly by her, of terminal cancer.
She knows how to ‘charge’ water with energy transmitted to her by the elder from her first vision. There are several kinds of energy she emits, and depending on the kind the ‘charged’ water is called ‘Antonenko solution #1’, ‘Antonenko solution # 2’, etc. One kind of solution is used as nose drops, anima, and even for intravenous injections. The other kind gets closed tightly in a personalized glass jar and left in the Center. After a while there appears some kind of growth in the water, mold, fungi, bacterial flora or whatever. Naturally, it looks different in each jar. Mrs. Antonenko says that it is the disease of each of her patients, which, thanks to her unique methods, has been transplanted (teleportation) from their bodies to the jars. And it will remain there as long the patients will obey her and follow the rules of the community.
That is exactly the key. The rules are many: for example in order to get well, the patient must clean his house of all bird feathers and down, which retain clusters of negative energy from dead birds. They have to get rid of all images, except for the icons and portraits of Mrs. Antonenko. Another necessary condition is to get rid of all home pets, especially of dogs and cats (Antonenko bases herself on the Biblical verse "Cursed be he who lies with any kind of beast" - Deut. 27:21). Very bad if there is a yellow metal in the house: Antonenko suggests dumping it in her Center rather than just throwing it out so nobody would find it and would be tempted to take it home.
There is a personal diagnostics as well: for example if among the blood cells examined under microscope one is found which looks like a butterfly, the patient has to abstain from any contact with butterflies or even their pictures. If one cell looks like a bottle, the patient naturally should abstain from drink, etc. There are many more rules, but the main one is that the healing power of Mrs. Antonenko works only if a person remains within the group. The unbelieving relatives can produce enough negative energy to replant the disease from the jar back in the body. That is how Mrs. Antonenko explains the numerous deaths that happen among her patients.
But there are many cases of healing. It happens like this: virtually anyone who comes to her diagnostic center with any health complaints is immediately diagnosed with 4th degree cancer. 4th degree is inoperable and the only remaining hope is with the miraculous healer. Then the alleged healing happens and the person remains within the group, cutting the relationships with all relatives and friends and spending nearly all time in the Nadezhda Center. Often the relatives learn about the deaths of their loved ones some months or even years afterwards.
And, in any case, Mrs. Antonenko has the final argument that can explain any death within the cult: nothing good can ever happen in Russia as long as the image upon her coat of arms remains a two-headed eagle - a genetic mutant.
The cult of Antonenko is one of the multitudes of healing cults that has flooded Russia. Medical help in the country is very unreliable and expensive. Thus, the majority of population in the hour of need remains with a very rudimentary low budget state medicine, which can offer but a very basic help. For better keep one has to pay and to pay a lot. So the promises in various advertisements to heal everything once and for all via a new and revolutionary method are bound to attract attention. One has to add that in the materialist and militantly atheist USSR there was quite a developed cult of science. People were pumped with a belief that science can do anything or will be able to do everything in the near future when everything to be discovered will be discovered. So, all the new healers need is to present their product in scientific (or at least pseudoscientific) terms. The rest is marketing…
The cults that use the medicinal lure can be divided into at least four groups:
Let us begin with the first group
Besides Mrs. Antonenko's cult we find in Russia cults such as various versions of Reiki, the New Age healing cults of ‘Ayurvedic Medicine’ (though sometimes this name is used by the Transcendental Meditation which belongs to the second group), occult homeopathy, pyramids, bells, aromas, etc., and such Russian cults as the one of Mirzakarim Norbekov, the ‘Academy of Frontal problems’ of Boris Zolotov, ‘The School of DEIR (Further energy-informational development of human being), ‘The School of Lhasa’ and many other groups
Just a few words about first two
Mr. Mirzakarim Norbekov (Uzbek who has moved to Moscow about 10 years ago), who says to practice Sufi medicine and claims to be a doctor of many sciences and arts and academician of many academies, offers a system of learning and exercises, which is supposed to make one completely healthy. At the end of the first cycle one has to get rid of eyeglasses once and for all… The argumentation is such: it’s all up to you. Do you want to be a stupid idiot and stay with your diseases or do you want to be healthy? If you chose the last one you have to believe the great Norbekov and to follow his lead. You have to learn some very strange practices, such as, for example, to breathe with your eyes. But, the most important, you have to believe. And if you do, your body eventually will act according to your faith.  This is, in fact, very close to the main idea of Neo-Pentecostals of which we will talk a bit later. At the most advanced stages Mr. Norbekov supposedly offers healing from impotence. The former members say that these courses involve so called ‘tantric practices’ which is a euphemism for group sex in various forms and shapes.
Boris Zolotov, the founder of the ‘Academy of Frontal Problems’ is known for his seminars which, as he promises, can change a man or woman entirely and make them once and for all psychically and physically healthy and besides transfer them into triumphant victors in life. The seminars are long (up to 10 days) and involve communal living in one closed space (apartment or a rented hall) for a large number of people who are really packed into these rooms, both eating and sleeping there and fulfilling all the tasks of the seminar.
A couple of times the entire group might be taken out (usually late at night) for some fresh air exercise or into a rented public steam bath. The rest of the time they spend indoors doing strange and humiliating things, often physically abused by Mr. Zolotov and his assistants (recruited from among them), and next to that offered hugs and caresses from him. The seminars involve a lot of sexual activity, usually performed by the couples appointed by Mr. Zolotov in front of the crowd. Sometimes he makes people masturbate in front of everybody, too. Sometimes he makes them fight, and then, at his word, to stop fighting and to have sex, etc. Often Mr. Zolotov himself shows everyone how to have proper sex - usually with the prettiest seminar attendees… It is obvious how all these practices break the psyche of a human being and make him or her a mere tool in the hands of Zolotov or another cult master.
But perhaps the most well known, the most developed and the most influential cult of this kind is the cult of Porfiry Ivanov. This man (1898-1983) came up with his own idea that in order to live eternally a human being must learn how to live without clothes, food and drink. As you learn to exist without your natural needs, your life gets longer and longer. Mr. Ivanov who was a semi-literate man, diagnosed with advanced stage of schizophrenia, who went around summer and winter in only knee-length boxer-undershorts and considered himself to be God and Savior of humanity. His followers had to observe various rituals, such as to walk barefoot in the snow daily, to pour buckets of ice-water over themselves, to stay without food weekly from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, never to spit anything out of the body, never to sit, to live communally and to pray to their Teacher (who died nonetheless, in spite of all his promises). These are just a few out of many more rules and regulations. And of course, any medical help is strictly forbidden - if one follows all these rules and adds to them one should have a perfect heath.
After the death of Porfiry Ivanov the cult has split into two. One, the smaller one, was headed by the widow of Mr. Ivanov and then by her heirs, while the other, much larger one, was led by one Yury Ivanov (no relation to Porfiry), who even inherited his Master undershorts which he puts on for special days. Now his followers call Yury Ivanov "the young Teacher". Mrs. Sara Nazarbayeva - the first lady of Kazakhstan, supports the first Ivanov cult while Mrs. Miriam Akayeva - the first lady of Kyrgizstan, supports the second one. Both ladies forcefully introduce the Ivanov system and rules into schools, orphanages and armies of their respected countries. Just try to imagine for example the children who have to stand through all the lessons! Fortunately, this has not been taken in all of the schools (it is too expensive to change the writing desks), but the buckets of ice-cold water are very much in use. And before this ritual all children and solders have to raise their hands up and to implore absent but ever present Porfiry Ivanov: "Teacher, give me strength, give me energy!"
The centers of both Ivanov cults are located in Lugansk province of the Ukraine, about 50 km from each other. Both live as closed communities with all property being common. Both serve as pilgrimage centers for the multitude of Ivanovites from all the countries of the former USSR. In fact, their influence is great, for the teaching of Porfiry Ivanov is spread via school subject ‘Valeology’ (a science of health), which until recently was taught is virtually every high school of Russia.
That was a thoroughly occult course, in spite of pseudo-scientific appearance. It included a lot of New Age, often elements of theosophy and anthroposophy, sometimes even parts of scientology and dianetics, and a lot of Porfiry Ivanov, who spoke so much about a healthy body ("The Teacher’s Body", he wrote about himself, "is the beauty beyond any beauty <…> It emanates a wonderful aroma, it has been sanctified. With my wonderful aroma I am needed by everyone ).
All that was pumped into Russian school children. In fact, valeology was being disseminated in a large degree by the Department of valeology of Samara (a Russian megalopolis upon the Volga) pedagogical university, which is chaired by the "young Teacher’s" father Gennady Ivanov.
The "young Teacher" himself is an associate professor (docent) of the department, while his wife Antonina is a senior lecturer. Her preferred subject (naturally, besides Ivanovism) is urinotherapy which she propagates everywhere.
Just to give an idea of associate professor Ivanov scientific level, I will refer to couple ideas from his publications. For example, he teaches that the Universe is a sort of ethereal spiral. The ether of which it consists is a "living stream of miniscule glittering tempests of the Universe which have the hierarchy of vibrations and move with supersonic speed along the closed polymeric spiral". He also writes that "in the area of Bermuda Triangle there is a spiral hole 6,5 km deep.
On the opposite side of the Earth in the center of Australia there moves out of the earth the famous Red Rock which is the top of a conical body 6,5 km high (together with its underground part). This will become a new Moon". And yet, this delirium is being spread among school children and college students!
Thanks to the active protests of the Orthodox believers the valeology was removed from high schools curriculum. But this is far from complete victory: firstly, in many schools valeology remained under different names and secondly, the valeology departments in various universities are still there. It means that the books are coming out, the valeology teachers are being trained and naturally they are looking for a field in which to apply their services…
And the Ivanovites have succeeded in the most important thing: for most of the citizens of the former USSR the Ivanov system is nothing less than a method of healthy life and exercise. So, having this reputation, it is easy enough for the cultists to promote the system and to recruit the new members.
Now let us move to the second group of cults, the one which use the medicinal lure.
Of these I will dwell a little bit on ‘The Church of the Last Testament’ of Vissarion and Neo-Pentecostal ‘Faith Movement’, though many others can be listed here from scientology to TM…
‘The Church of the Last Testament,’ founded by a former traffic cop Sergey Torop who proclaims to be the last incarnation of Christ - Vissarion -, is probably one of Russian cults that is better known in the West. The center of the cult is in Krasnoyarsk territory in South-Central Siberia, in the Taiga where the adepts, who moved there from the large cities live in several villages and construct for themselves ecologically pristine Sun-City in which they are supposed to live during and after the end of the world, which by the way is at hand - according to the foreknowledge of Vissarion, it began last year and should be over by the year 2015.
Only those will survive it that live next to the Messiah in the ecologically pure lands in South-Central Siberia (which, besides, is the Center of the Earth) and follow all his rules, which are many. The ones who have persevered to the end will be saved: their genotype will change to the degree unheard of before: they will even breathe nitrogen rather than oxygen, and thus they will survive the ecological catastrophe that will kill all the inhabitants of the Earth and will live forever in their changed bodies. There are about five thousand adepts living in Krasnoyarsk Territory next to Vissarion and, probably, nearly as many living elsewhere.
The rules include a very strict vegan (vegetarian without any animal products) diet, special prayers and meditation, public confessions, long an exhausting pilgrimages and a lot of hard work. The diet is not limited to all vegetable products: even among them many are excluded, such as mushrooms, honey, sugar, etc.  Water is forbidden as well: Vissarion says that there is no clear water left upon the Earth. Vissarion claims that he himself does not drink any water - only freshly squeezed fruit juice. Of course, that commodity cannot be provided to all his adherents living in extreme poverty. So Vissarion has an ingenious solution for them: one glass of own urine drunk first thing in the morning is able to neutralize all harm, done by the water, for the rest of the day.
Naturally, all medicine is forbidden. What is practiced is ‘esthetotherpy’. By this is meant that the sick person has to go out early in the morning, to enjoy the sights of magnificent Siberian nature and this feeling of beauty will immediately heal his diseases. Naturally, there are a lot of health problems among the starved, emaciated people, the vast majority of whom are big city dwellers totally unprepared for the harsh country life conditions.
We have the documents about the several deaths in the community - children and adults - all from emaciation or lack of medical care. But, I am sure, this is only a tip of the iceberg. There is no record of the babies born there, nor is there a record of all the people who arrive to live there. So most of the deaths must go totally unknown to the outside world. What is still worse is that as the cult is moving further into the Taiga, thus cutting connection with the outside world. The situation closely resembles the one in Guyana with the tragic end of Jim Jones’ ‘People’s Temple’.
Health promise is a very important tool for recruitment into the Neo-Pentecostal cults. A lot of them came to Russia via Sweden, through Ulf Ekmans’ ‘Word of Life,’ though some came directly from the USA (missions of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, etc.). ‘Prosperity theology’ which the Neo-Pentecostals profess, holds that every Christian must be healthy and prosperous. If he or she is not that, there must be a serious problem with this person. The promises of mighty miracles and instant healing appear on every poster of each visiting Neo-Pentecostal preacher or evangelist. Thus, a lot of people are being lured to these gatherings by such promises. It is interesting that for the last couple of years the Russian Neo-Pentecostals have been designing their advertisement posters to look very much as if they came from the Orthodox Church, using a design and characteristic vocabulary. So, people, seeing for example that the healing is promised by the famous ‘miracle-working priest’ from the ‘cathedral of the Holy Spirit’ will "anoint them by oil from Jerusalem", etc. think that it is not a cult but rather something coming from the Church which has a very high rating of trust among the Russian citizens, and thus it is safe to come here. They come and soon a lot of them end up in the cult.
One may say a lot about highly developed mind control techniques the Neo-Pentecostals use in their gatherings. Among other things they use Ericksonian hypnosis - all their preachers are taught the elements of it. That all leads the audience to a mass hysteria and a trance-like state. In such a state the human brain produces the extreme doses of endorphins and adrenaline which make people experience very acute euphoric feelings very much like what a drug addict feels.
It is interesting that scientological auditing must be concluded with the euphoric feeling which comes after the long hours of the trance-like state of auditing procedure.
So soon enough people become addicts of endorphin induced euphoria and long to repeat it over and over. Naturally, the human brain cannot work in such an extreme regime round the clock and the period of active endorphin secretion is followed by a period of abstinence syndrome (or what the drug addicts call the ‘cold turkey’) which make the cultists long more and more for a new euphoric experience. This euphoria makes them believe that all the promises given to them have been fulfilled. It is exactly because of that the scientologists often exclaim with great conviction: "Whatever you might say but I know for sure that Scientology works! It has helped me, etc.!" It really works only to the degree that the poor man has euphoria at the end of each auditing and he believes that it works and acts accordingly.
But the Neo-Pentecostal cults have an additional characteristic feature. I call it ‘Naked emperor’s clothes syndrome’. Let me explain that. According to their belief each word has a great power. If you say that you have not been healed, you will remain sick - according to your word. What one has to do is to proclaim that the healing has happened and to thank God for it. If you say it with faith - your words will transform into reality. So, the worse the Neo-Pentecostal feels, the more the conviction with which he will proclaim that the healing did indeed happen. And the words of the people that surround him - who also tell about their miraculous healing - will establish him in his faith even more, just as his words strengthen the faith of people who surround him. Hence, the ‘Naked emperor’s clothes syndrome’.
One has to take into consideration that psycho-somatic healings do happen - perhaps up to 1/3 of all diseases can be healed this way. But there remains two other thirds. And their faith is quite tragic. I remember a story of a medical doctor who was investigating Neo-Pentecostals healing claims. One cultist told him that his wife has been healed of cancer. The doctor, naturally, inquired whether he could see the woman as well as the results of her medical exams. "No", - came the answer. "Why?" - asked the doctor. "Because she has died!" "When did she die?" "Couple of months after she has been healed".
That is quite characteristic. And I came across many witnesses of the specialists that there is not even one case when charismatic preachers and miracle workers (or, for that matter any cult functionary) did really heal even one case of organic (not psychosomatic) illness.
Yet, there is another health-related area in which various cults thrive. It is the problem of drugs and the issue of rehabilitation of drug addicts which is used by many cults to do their PR, to create an acceptable public image, and - of course - to use it for recruiting of the new adepts. One might add that the cults usually charge a lot for this their service and also often use the people they ‘rehabilitate’ as slave labor. But they all promise a miraculous healing with (usually) over 90% of positive results, and naturally some desperate parents will fall for these promises and will sell whatever they have to pay for the treatment of their child. So this speculation on a tragedy of our society and our families turns out to be very profitable in many ends. And it helps the cults or cult-related bodies to get into schools - supposedly to talk to children about the dangers of drug addiction but such talks always lead to active recruitment.
The drug rehabilitation lure is most actively used by the same Neo-Pentecostals, the Moonies and the Scientologists (their notorious ‘Narconon’). There are cults which exist entirely under the guise of drug-rehabilitation centers. For example 3HO (‘Healthy-Happy-Holy Organization’) exists in Moscow as drug-rehabilitation center ‘Kundala’. The last one is very open in their advertisements, which do say: "Why do you have to take drugs harmful to your health? We will teach you to live in total bliss 24 hours a day. You’ll get much better high using the techniques we will teach you in our program, so after that you yourself would not want to take any drugs!"
So, the word is said. Naturally, the numbers the cults give (over 90%, etc) is purely fake. But these very few cases when the people really get off drugs after their programs just mean that they switch from one addiction to the other. After that, one can be just as much addicted to endorphins as to heroin or crack. And instead of spending all money on drugs, the new cultist takes all his money to the cult. The end in both cases is one - total ruin.
Scientology, in fact, uses every opportunity to promote its health-claims. You may find scientological "volunteer ministers" on the site of any catastrophe within hours from the moment it has happened. They try to get to the victims and their relatives and, using their stressful state, under the guise of psychological and medical help (‘assists’) recruit them into cult. Besides that the news about the supposedly great help that scientology offers appears in the cult’s press-releases, thus making very good PR which, in turn, eventually bring new recruits into the cult.
From Scientology there is a clear connection to the field of psycho-cults, the Scientology itself being the most successful and the most developed of all of them. In fact, so many of them are interconnected. Werner Erhart of EST (now ‘International Landmark Forum’) himself has gone through several Scientology courses, the founders of Lifespring (and its splinter group Avatar) were trained in EST, as well as Bill Ridler who founded the ‘World Centers of Relationships’ (a.k.a. the ‘Purple ones’). Nicholas Kozlov - the founder of the most successful Russian psycho-cult called ‘Synton’ has gone through both Scientology and Lifespring.
One phenomenon that we had to leave almost entirely out of the scope of this paper is the advance and proliferation of occult healers and witch doctors which abound in Russia and all countries of the former USSR, acting legally and practically with no hindrance from the authorities. Their ads are found everywhere - in newspapers and magazines, in street posters on radio and TV. Often one may find their commercials in a form of journalist articles telling about a ‘gifted woman’ who selflessly helps people, or a pseudo-scientific TV program relating about a ‘natural wonder’ - the man who can heal the diseases when the doctors give up all hope.
I remember a TV talk show in which I took part, when a woman-guest of the show related how she has been raped by an ‘extrasensor’ sitting right there. But, naturally, there were no witnesses so she could not prove the charge.
There are still extrasensors-healers that travel around the cities of the former USSR, promising health improvement. The most famous of them, Mr. Anatoly Kashpirovsky and Mr. Alan Chumak, were on TV almost weekly in the beginning of 1990s. Mr. Kashpirovsky brought millions of TV-viewers into a trance, claiming that he heals them this way.
Of course, for complete healing they had to see him personally, to pay for the visit and to buy his photos, books, etc.. Mr. Chumak, in his turn, used to use his energy to ‘charge’ water, creams and oils which supposedly made them the panacea to all illnesses. He also did it via TV, but if one need more concentrated energy water, one had to buy it from him. Both of them are still active and are able to gather large audiences in provincial Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, etc. towns.
In 1996 the work of our Center was crowned by what then seemed a wonderful result: Dr. Tsaregorodsev - then the Minister of Health of Russia - had signed two degrees. One forbade the presence in State Medical Facilities of any occult of mystical medicine, while the other expressly forbade the presence in Public medicine any methods connected with scientology, dianetics and/or the name of L. Ron Hubbard.
Of course, it was victory but not as momentous as we thought. For one thing the decree does not entirely prevent the cults from sifting into Public Medical facilities. Moreover, they do a lot of their practice in their own premises and are able to attract people there. And, after all, the degree is not a law, which means that it can be cancelled as easily as it was signed.
Another characteristic feature is that a lot of doctors in public medicine have been recruited into multi-level marketing schemes and are being used as distributors of various bio-active-supplements, each of which is advertised as a miraculous cure. Doctors very insistently suggest to their patients that they buy this miraculous cure, because nothing else might really help. Of course, it is a blatant violation of professional ethics. One might add only that many doctors are pushed to this by the extreme poverty in which they live and the extreme poverty of their medical institutions which cannot really offer to the patients much help besides some very basic remedies. Sometimes one might even come across a doctor who is being used as a recruiter by an ‘extrasensor’ or one of the other occult healers who use some pseudoscientific method. Some of these crooks might even have a medical education or even be medical doctors.
Having this in mind we come to a very serious problem which already has been voiced by some Orthodox believers: to what degree, let’s say, should we push for the legislation against the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ forbidding their adherents to use blood? Could this legislation, if the situation will change a little bit, turn against us? - they ask. Suppose, a couple years down the line I’ll get advice from my doctor: "I really cannot help you with this but our clinic just hired a new wonderful specialist: a representative of an ancient shamanic tradition, and he can do miracles with his extrasensory methods. So, come to the room 66 on 6th floor, and there you will find him". Naturally, I would refuse, citing my religious convictions. Could this result in the lawsuit against the Orthodox Church, or, for that matter, against any other traditional religious organization whose members might take the same line of behavior? Of course, so far this projected situation reminds highly hypothetical, yet it might somewhat show the situation in which we live, and definitely it has a certain reason behind it.
I had a chance to mention here only a few of the multitudes of cults, using the lure of health and healing to attract new potential recruits. Our Center has documents about over a hundred of them but this is but a drop in an ocean. There are thousands of them in the countries of former USSR. We do our best to spread true information about them. But even with the help we get - from some concerned doctors, from some honest government employees, from responsible journalists, etc. - that is not nearly enough. For each cult or individual ‘extrasensor’ whose true face we were able to expose to the public, there appear several new ones. One feels himself like fighting multiheaded hydra with several new heads growing back for each one that has been cut off.
Couple of months ago a friend of mine had to spend a few days in a Cancer Hospital. As I came to visit him I saw that the fence in front of the hospital was literally covered by various paper adds all of which promised a miraculous healing from cancer. The means they advertised were different: some said that they healed cancer by the power of the Holy Spirit, the others mentioned the hidden powers of nature, while the third spoke about revolutionary scientific discoveries. But all of them proclaimed that the promised result is 100% guaranteed. One can imagine that these promises will find a positive response among people stuck down by the heavy disease as well as among their relatives. So, as long as there is a demand, there will appear all kids of swindlers and quacks who will use it to serve their own means.
Finally, in coming to conclusion, I cannot offer a definite solution to the problems I’ve described. One is clear: as long as in the countries of the former USSR the medical care will remind one of the most neglected parts of the social sphere of the budget, it will remain a fertile ground for various cult recruiters and occult charlatans preying on the human problems and tragedies.
Sf. Norbekov, Mirzakarim. Pyt’ duraka. Moscow, 1999.
Ivanov P. Istoria Parsheka, Vol.2,, pp. 62-243.
Ivanov, Yu. G. Mertsayuschiy mir. Samara-Orekhovka. P. 5.
Ibid. P. 19.
Of course, Vissarion is excluded from diet. The witness tell that out of sight of his cultists he does not limit himself in any food or drink.