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At the age of 19, Swigart developed cancer of the stomach. He claimed to give up medical treatment and cure himself by the age of 22 by drinking carrot juice. On the Internet, claims are made that he was a doctor. However, there is no evidence that he undertook any medical training or achieved a Phd in any field.
Swigart developed an interest in nutrition as a hobby, and developed a diet known as the 'Primal Diet', which involved eating raw meat and unadulterated dairy products and vegetables.
He went on to publish a few books on the subject. After the publication of his first book, he began to claim that he had healed various clients of various diseases and conditions. However, he never published any documented cases.
Swigart was born in 1947 in Denver, Colorado, USA. He claims to have been a sickly child, suffering from all sorts of diseases. He worked as a short-order cook and studied computer science, eventually becoming a programmer.
At some point, he moved to Los Angeles and became a heavy drinker. When diagnosed with cancer at 19, he began treatment. As he became ill due to chemotherapy, he discontinued cancer treatment. Having been given a book on the treatment of cancer by the consumption of carrot juice, he claimed that within ten days the diet had cured his dyslexia and put him into remission from cancer.
He renamed himself at about the age of 23. 'Aajonus' because that was for some reason what a toddler he knew called him, and 'Vonderplanitz' because that was the surname of some of his recent European ancestors. By 25 he had stopped eating raw dairy produce and began drifting through the US and into South America. By the time he returned to California after a couple of years, he had started to eat raw meat, claiming this practice as having health benefits.
He became an actor and earned some income from painting murals. He eventually bough some farm land, both in the USA and Thailand.
Coming toward the end of his life, Vonderplanitz made many ridiculous claims about medicine and biology. He has shown a lack of understanding of biology and chemistry, by suggesting that viruses are 'solvents' and are both created by the body and only arise when people are injected. He made suggestions that he was the subject of a government and/or pharmaceutical plot to 'neutralise' him. He suggested also that a 2009 flu pandemic was a hoax, and was created by flu vaccinations. He claimed that a group of men in Thailand broke into his hotel room and injected him with something, which he claimed raised the levels of mercury, barium and chromium in his body "off the charts". Further claims he made were that these forced injections caused him to lose weight and prematurely age.
Swigart died a few days after falling from a balcony in Thailand, in 2013. He had broken his spine in the fall. While in hospital, he accepted pain-killers but refused surgery to stop the internal bleeding.