Gwen Shamblin Lara, a controversial dietitian who became the leader of a religious cult, was one of several victims in a plane crash on Saturday. Six other church leaders were also in the plane, including her husband.
Shamblin may have been best known for her admission that she formed her views on dieting by looking at pictures of Jews during the Holocaust. She once told CNN’s Larry King, “How in the Holocaust did you have all these people getting down real skinny? They ate less food.” She elaborated to a reporter in an article published in the New Yorker: “What person genetically predisposed to obesity was in there, out of the millions and millions that died? When they ate less food, they became emaciated.”
But beyond that thoughtless statement, she thought people could replace an addiction to food with an addiction to God. She eventually began Remnant Fellowship, a cult that punished disobedience, claimed being overweight was “a sign of greed and gluttony,” and once celebrated a mother who locked up her disobedient child for a long period of time. That child soon died and the parents were convicted for murder.
To the broader world, though, she was known as someone who infused God into all of her weight loss rhetoric to the point of becoming a parody of herself:
None of this is to make light of a plane crash. It is a reminder that your legacy is always being written and Shamblin’s obituaries will inevitably include a lot about the people she hurt alongside praise from those she deceived. She was able to get away with it as long as she did because she used Jesus as her immunity.
(Featured screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to everyone for the link)